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Kirkwood Bar & Grill Hit With Wage Lawsuit

Former cook alleges restaurant failed to pay him overtime.

Kirkwood Bar & Grill Hit With Wage Lawsuit

A former cook of the Kirkwood Bar & Grill has filed a federal lawsuit against the restaurant, claiming it failed to pay him overtime money he is owed.

Quentin Gibson, a Clayton County resident who worked at the restaurant from October 2012 to Dec. 21, 2012, is seeking the overtime pay, plus damages equal to that amount and attorneys' fees.

Gibson filed the lawsuit Jan. 30 in the U.S. District Court's Northern District of Georgia in Atlanta.

"From on or about October 2012 through December 21, 2012, Defendants willfully failed to compensate Plaintiff at an hourly rate above or equal to the minimum wage as established in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act," the complaint alleges.

"He would work 70-hour weeks and get paid a straight $10 an hour," Gibson's Atlanta attorney, Kevin D. Fitzpatrick Jr., told East Atlanta Patch Tuesday.

The 18-page lawsuit names Kirkwood Bar & Grill, as well its owner, David Johnson, as defendants.

The defendants have 21 days from when they're served with the lawsuit, to file a response.

It's not clear if Johnson, who has had longstanding battles and lawsuits with the Kirkwood community over his establishment's operations, has yet been served.

He did not immediately respond to a telephone call seeking comment, Tuesday.

Fitzpatrick's firm, DeLong, Caldwell, Bridgers & Fitzpatrick LLC, specializes in labor disputes.

He said such overtime issues are not uncommon in Atlanta, particularly in in service-oriented jobs such as cooks, maids and landscapers.

"We see a lot of restaurants violate it in a couple of ways," Fitzpatrick said. "They'll fail to pay overtime or they will mess up the tip pool."

Tips workers can be particularly squeezed because they can be paid far less than the minimum wage rate of $7.25 per hour, on the assumption that they can make up the difference in tips.

But Fitzpatrick said if the tip pool isn't properly accounted for or paid out, those workers end up losing out on money they are due.

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