Restaurant Law Center et al. v. United States Department of Labor et al.

Case Movement

Case Details

  • Case Status: Decided
  • Docket Number: 1:18-cv-00567-RP
  • Category: Regulatory Overreach


The Restaurant Law Center, joined by the Texas Restaurant Association, filed a Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief challenging an Obama-era administrative guidance on whether employers can claim a tip credit when workers do non-tipped work. The Law Center argued that the provision in question was, in reality, a regulation “slipped quietly into an internal agency handbook without notice to the public or an opportunity for comment”.

August 28, 2018

The Restaurant Law Center made an Oral Motion to Dismiss before the court.

Days before the government’s response to the complaint was due, the Department of Labor reissued a 2009 opinion letter. The letter states that there is no limit on the amount of time a tipped employee can spend on side work related to its occupation, as long as the side work occurs contemporaneously with, or in close proximity to, the normal tip-generating activity. In court, the Department agreed to make its views apply retroactively to any pending cases or investigations. The agreement was a win for employers and tipped workers alike, helping minimize frivolous lawsuits in this area and re-focus our industry around what really matters, hospitality and service.

November 30, 2018

The Restaurant Law Center and the Department of Labor filed a Joint Notice of Dismissal with the court.

December 10, 2018

The U.S. District Court filed its Order of Dismissal.