Rodriguez v. Kaiaffa, LLC

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*********************************************** The “officially released” date that appears near the be- ginning of each opinion is the date the opinion will be pub- lished in the Connecticut Law Journal or the date it was released as a slip opinion. The operative date for the be- ginning of all time periods for filing postopinion motions and petitions for certification is the “officially released” date appearing in the opinion. All opinions are subject to modification and technical correction prior to official publication in the Connecticut Reports and Connecticut Appellate Reports. In the event of discrepancies between the advance release version of an opinion and the latest version appearing in the Connecticut Law Journal and subsequently in the Connecticut Reports or Connecticut Appellate Reports, the latest version is to be considered authoritative. The syllabus and procedural history accompanying the opinion as it appears in the Connecticut Law Journal and bound volumes of official reports are copyrighted by the Secretary of the State, State of Connecticut, and may not be reproduced and distributed without the express written permission of the Commission on Official Legal Publica- tions, Judicial Branch, State of Connecticut. *********************************************** JACQUELINE RODRIGUEZ v. KAIAFFA, LLC, ET AL. (SC 20274) Robinson, C. J., and Palmer, McDonald, D’Auria, Mullins, Kahn and Ecker, Js.* Syllabus Pursuant to statute (§ 31-60 [b]), the Commissioner of Labor shall adopt regulations that carry out the purposes of the minimum wage laws, and such regulations shall entitle employers, as part of the minimum fair wage, to a tip credit by including gratuities in an amount equal to a certain percentage of the minimum fair wage per hour for persons, other than bartenders, who are employed in the hotel and restaurant industry and who regularly and customarily receive gratuities. Pursuant further to a Department of Labor regulation (§ 31-62-E4), ‘‘[i]f an employee performs both service and non-service duties, and the time spent on each is definitely segregated and so recorded, the allowance for gratuities as permitted as part of the minimum fair wage may be applied to the hours worked in the service category,’’ but, ‘‘[i]f an employee performs both service and non-service duties and the time spent on each cannot be definitely segregated and so recorded, or is not definitely segregated and so recorded, no allowances for gratuities may be applied as part of the minimum fair wage.’’ The defendants, K Co. and its single member, C, appealed from the trial court’s order certifying for class action status an action brought by the plaintiff, who was employed at one of the six restaurants in Connecticut operated by the defendants under the name Chip’s Family Restaurants. In addition to waiting tables, servers at the restaurants were required to perform ‘‘side work,’’ such as cleaning tables and appliances, restocking, slicing lemons, and preparing food toppings. The plaintiff alleged in her complaint that the defendants violated Connecticut wage laws when they failed to pay their servers, during a certain time period, the minimum hourly wage mandated by § 31-60 (b) by unlawfully deducting …

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