Epicurean Workers Settle Lawsuit
Published: Friday, October 5, 2012
Updated: Friday, October 5, 2012 02:10
Three former employees of Epicurean and Company who sued their employer for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act in July have reached settlements on their cases.
The three plaintiffs filed a civil case in the District of Columbia District Court July 30 alleging that their employer failed to maintain accurate time records and did not compensate employees at the mandated overtime rate.
Chang Wook Chon, the proprietor of Epicurean and Co.’s Georgetown and Van Ness locations, filed an agreement known as an offer of judgment with regard to two of the plaintiffs last month. Pending approval by the court, judgment will be entered in favor of the two plaintiffs, who will receive a total of $14,250 in damages.
According to Kimberly Jandrain, an attorney for Epicurean and Co., her client misunderstood how to calculate correct overtime wages.
“It was an honest mistake,” she said.
But Darin Dalmat, an attorneywho represented the three plaintiffs, pointed to a similar suit that was filed against Chon in 2010. Dalmat finds it hard to believe that such a mistake was possible after the restaurant was advised by legal counsel on the issue.
“I find the argument a little flat on its face,” Dalmat said.
The 2010 suit had been filed by four employees as a collective action case. It was eventually resolved by a settlement in which the defendant agreed to provide 12 former employees with compensation for unpaid wages dating back to 2007.
On Wednesday, the defendant filed a settlement agreeing to pay $200 to the third plaintiff but did not admit any liability in her case. The plaintiff volunteered to settle her case for this amount and withdraw her charges.
The two agreements must now be approved by a judge before they take effect.
According to Dalmat, a teleconference with the court has been set for Oct. 15 to address lingering issues with both parties before moving forward. Both Dalmat and Jandrain said they were hopeful that the deals would be approved.