Rapper, actor and entrepreneur T.I. faces a lawsuit from some of his former employees at Scales 925, his downtown Atlanta restaurant.
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The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Atlanta by employees Chrysten Wright, Monique Simms, Kurel Scott, Ongeli McMillan, Whitley Middleton, Sammy Davis, Jenair Perry, Millan Rodrigo, Shomari Davis, Keandra Daniels, DeMarquis Denson, and Cashara Tate against T.I., known in court documents as Clifford Harris Jr., his business partner Charles Hughes, and the restaurant management group.
The plaintiffs have all quit due to factors they allege in their lawsuit, and say the restaurant has refused to give them their final paychecks and "threatened to call the police" when they requested payment owed them.
A restaurant manager said midday Wednesday that a response was being formulated and would be released later.
The suit cites the Fair Labor Standards Act in claiming employees were not paid properly for services rendered.
"Hughes used Scales LLC to create bank accounts for payroll. However, Hughes would deposit money from SCALES 925 into his personal account causing payroll checks to bounce," the suit claims. "Hughes has made fraudulent statements to restaurant employees concerning the hours the employees worked at SCALES 925.
For example, Hughes used a time and billing software call ALOHA for keeping track of employee hours. The software would delete hours or not keep track of hours exceeding 40 hours per week. Employees complained to Hughes but were told it was nothing he could do. Hughes also implemented the time and billing software in such a way that it caused employees to claim $35 in tips when the employees did not, in fact, make $35 in tips. Employees were also coerced to work off the clock for three hours before they were allowed to go home."
The suit goes on to claim:
"During Plaintiffs’ employment with Scales, they would routinely work more than 40 hours per week. Although Plaintiffs would routinely work more than 40 hours per week, they were not paid overtime. Plaintiffs complained to Scales about not being paid overtime; however, Scales would simply ignore their complaints."
The suit makes a number of other claims regarding pay:
"Scales would also take money out of Plaintiffs’ paycheck claiming the money was used to pay the busboys. However, the busboys told Plaintiffs they didn’t receive any money in their checks from Plaintiffs’ wages...Scales would also require Plaintiffs to pay $4.00 out of their paycheck for broken glasses even if no glasses were broken."
The plaintiffs seek back pay in varying amounts. The suit states that "Harris and Hughes have the following joint authority at the restaurant: (1) the power to determine the pay rates or the methods of payment of the employees; and (2) the right, directly or indirectly, to hire, fire, or modify the employment conditions of the workers."
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