Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Darden Restaurant­s sued over pay policy


A group that seeks higher wages for restaurant workers is suing Olive Garden’s parent company, saying its pay policies make workers more likely to endure harassment and discrimina­tion.

One Fair Wage filed the lawsuit Thursday against Orlando, Fla.-based Darden Restaurant­s. Darden employs more than 167,000 hourly workers at 1,800 restaurant­s in the U.S. and Canada. In addition to the Olive Garden chain, it owns Longhorn Steakhouse and Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen.

The lawsuit says Darden has a policy of paying its tipped workers subminimum wages as low as $2.13 per hour in the 43 states that allow that practice. Tips are added to those wages to ensure employees make minimum wages; if wages and tips don’t equal the state or federal minimum, Darden must make up the difference.

In a statement, Darden said One Fair Wage’s dispute is with federal and state wage laws. Darden said its tipped workers earn an average of $20 per hour and it recently raised its minimum wage.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States