On May 21, 2014, Stephan Zouras filed a collective action complaint in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on behalf of current and former Coco Pazzo servers, bartenders, bussers, food runners and expediters.
Plaintiffs allege that Coco Pazzo violated the tip-credit provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act by requiring tipped employees to participate in a mandatory, involuntary tip pool from which “non-tipped employees” – specifically managers – were permitted to take tips.
On September 2, 2014 the Court certified the case as a collective action, meaning all tipped employees who worked for Coco Pazzo from May 2010 to the present can participate in the case. Plaintiffs are seeking to recover unpaid wages and other damages based on Defendants’ operation of the invalid tip pool.
In 2017, both parties agreed to settlement and over 30 servers, bartenders, bussers, food runners and expediters received compensation.