Pizza Today - December 2017 - 41

SO, HOW SHOULD A PIZZERIA
OWNER RESPOND WHEN SERVED WITH
A SUMMONS FOR A WAGE AND HOUR
LAWSUIT? Here are six steps you need

to take when an employee sues:

* CONTACT AN EMPLOYMENT
ATTORNEY IMMEDIATELY. Restaurant

owners often make the mistake of
planning their next move without
consulting an attorney, says
James Nowlin, CEO of corporate
consulting company Excel Global
Partners in Austin, Texas. Don't try
to battle an employment lawsuit with
your real estate lawyer, either. Choose
an experienced employment attorney
to determine the strength of the
employee's case.
* DON'T IGNORE THE LAWSUIT. "Too
many times, I see a client who says
he or she got sued by a disgruntled
employee making things up and is
just getting around to contacting a
lawyer," says Ehrlich. Depending on
state law, the defendant generally has
within 20 to 30 days after receiving
the summons to file what's called an
"answer" to the lawsuit allegations.
If you fail to respond by the
deadline, the employee will typically
have to "prove up" the allegations
under oath or with an affidavit, and a
judgment against the employer for a
specific amount of money is entered.
In some states, you may be able to
file a motion to try to vacate the
judgment within 30 days of the entry.
"Many employers who come to me
so late feel that they can prove the
employee lied, but if too much time
passes, it's too late," says Ehrlich.

if you've underpaid other workers. "The
biggest threat to a restaurant or any
company is a class action," says Robert
Ottinger, an employment attorney at
Ottinger Law, which has offices in San
Francisco and New York.
* DON'T RETALIATE. One of the worst
things you can do is angrily confront the
worker, fire or demote the person, change
their schedule to undesirable hours or
harass them. If the employee's attorney

adds a count of retaliation to the lawsuit,
and if you lose, you could end up paying
all wages for time the employee missed if
you fired the worker.
"Retaliation cases are incredibly easy to
win," says Ottinger. If the employee had a
spotless work record for two years and you
fired him a day after he sued, it's going to
be hard to prove the termination wasn't
punitive.

* GATHER RELEVANT DOCUMENTS.

You'll need to provide your
attorney with documents that could
include timecard entries, pay stubs,
bookkeeping journals and other
payroll records for the employee (or
employees) who filed the claim. In
fact, you may have to provide payroll
records for all your employees. That's
because your employee's attorney
will probably want to amend your
employee's lawsuit to a class action
D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 7 / P I Z Z AT O D AY. C O M / 4 1


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Pizza Today - December 2017

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pizza Today - December 2017

Pizza Today - December 2017
Commentary
Contents
Contributors
Expo Spotlight
Interact
Conversation
Conversation
Man on the Street
Respecting the Craft
Respecting the Craft
At Your Service
Destinations
Destinations
Knead to Know
Pizza & Pasta Northeast Recap
Road to Pizza Expo
Menu Guide
2018 Menu Guide
Product Showcase
Pizza Today Yellow Pages
The Marketplace
Reader’s Resource
Mike’s Monthy Tip
Pizza Today - December 2017 - CT1
Pizza Today - December 2017 - CT2
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Pizza Today - December 2017
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Cover2
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Commentary
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 4
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 5
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 6
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 7
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Contents
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 9
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Contributors
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 11
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 13
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Interact
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 15
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Conversation
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 17
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Man on the Street
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 19
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Respecting the Craft
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 21
Pizza Today - December 2017 - At Your Service
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 23
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Destinations
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 25
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Knead to Know
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 27
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 28
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 29
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 30
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 31
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 32
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 33
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 34
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 35
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 36
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 37
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 38
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 39
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 40
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 41
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 42
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 43
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Pizza & Pasta Northeast Recap
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 45
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Road to Pizza Expo
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 47
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 48
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 49
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 2018 Menu Guide
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 51
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 52
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 53
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 54
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 55
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 56
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 57
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Pizza Today - December 2017 - 72
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 73
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 74
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Product Showcase
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 76
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 77
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Pizza Today Yellow Pages
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 79
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 80
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 81
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 82
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 83
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 84
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 85
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 86
Pizza Today - December 2017 - The Marketplace
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 88
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 89
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 90
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 91
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 92
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 93
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 94
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 95
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 96
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Reader’s Resource
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Mike’s Monthy Tip
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Cover3
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Cover4
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