The instant case alleges a variety of wage-and-hour-related claims against Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company resulting from Plaintiff Sicklesmith’s employment as a server. Plaintiff Sicklesmith brings his claims on behalf of himself and a group of similarly-situated Hershey employees.
Plaintiff Sicklesmith was employed by Defendant at the “Houlihan’s” restaurant in Hershey, Pennsylvania (“the Restaurant”) from approximately January 2017 until September 2019. (Doc. 1 at ¶¶ 7, 9). During his employment, Plaintiff Sicklesmith was paid the Pennsylvania hourly tipped minimum wage of $2.83, plus tips from customers of the Restaurant. (Id. at ¶ 10). This tipped minimum wage falls below the Pennsylvania minimum wage of $7.25, but such a practice is permitted by Department of Labor (“DOL”) regulations, providing that certain requirements are met. 29 C.F.R. §531.56(e). At issue here is whether Defendant complied with relevant regulations when it compelled Plaintiff Sicklesmith and the putative class to perform alleged non-tip-generating work while paying them the tipped minimum wage, as opposed to the higher minimum wage.
Plaintiff alleges that he and similarly-situated tipped servers employed by Defendant were required to perform impermissible “non-tip-producing work” during their shifts, including “rolling silverware; [sic] setting up drink stations, cleaning the soda machine, filling sauce containers, setting-up the salad cooler, preparing food, slicing fruit, sorting silverware and ramekins, and cleaning the Restaurant.” (Id. at ¶ 12). While performing such tasks, Plaintiff Sicklesmith claims, he and other servers were not earning tips, nor did Defendant pay them the higher minimum wage required by regulation.