E-Alerts & Press Releases

Workers sue Mo’s Seafood for unpaid wages

Court authorizes restaurant workers to pursue a collective action for unpaid wages and damages

June 23, 2016: As Marylanders, we like our seafood, but discovering that the people who prepare and serve it haven’t been fully paid leaves a bad taste. So when we learned that several low-wage workers at Mo’s Seafood restaurants had complaints about their pay, we helped them take action. The workers sued Mo’s Seafood, represented by the Public Justice Center and Brown, Goldstein & Levy, LLP, as part of the PJC’s Litigation Partnership. We asked the Court to treat the case as a collective action, so that in addition to representing the workers who sued, we could notify hundreds of other current and former Mo’s Seafood employees and seek to recover unpaid wages and damages for that larger class. This June, the Court in Mendoza v. Mo’s Seafood agreed, issuing a decision that has implications beyond the dispute at hand. The Court publicly ruled – for the first time in the District of Maryland and in the surrounding region – that we could let Mo’s employees know about the case not just by mail and postings, but also through social media. As a result, we’re using Facebook to notify workers at all Mo’s branches about their potential claims, which may help reach transient low-wage workers in high turnover industries, like restaurants. This ruling could set precedent for the future, making it easier for the most vulnerable employees to pursue wage-and-hour actions collectively. Ultimately, we hope that this case will not only achieve justice for the workers at Mo’s, but also remind restaurants of their responsibility to pay their employees fully for their labor.

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