Outback Steakhouse Class Swells

     LAS VEGAS (CN) – With 135,338 current and former workers already part of a class action against it, Outback Steakhouse has provided the names of another 4,131 who could join the federal lawsuit for unpaid wages.
     The restaurant chain notified the plaintiff class of the additional current and former workers who qualify for the class action, and U.S. District Judge Jennifer Dorsey on April 10 gave the new potential class members until July 20 to join.
     The restaurant chain will spend $3,621 to mail consent forms in English and Spanish to the potential new class members.
     If all potential members join, the class action would have 139,469 members seeking reimbursement for all hours worked and overtime wages.
     Lead plaintiff Brooke Cardoza sued in October 2013, claiming the restaurant chain forced workers to start work 10 to 15 minutes early without clocking in and did not allow them to take mandated paid and unpaid work breaks.
     Nor did it pay workers for overtime, mandated training, testing or company meetings and events, Cardoza claimed.
     The class includes all hourly Outback Steakhouse workers who were employed from three years before the October 2013 filing.
     Australian-themed Outback Steakhouse had 769 restaurants throughout the United States as of 2013.
     The restaurant chain’s owner, Bloomin’ Brands, is a Fortune 1000 company that generated more than $3.9 billion in revenue in 2012, according to the complaint.
     The class seeks compensation for unpaid wages and overtime, liquidated damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, attorney’s fees and costs.
     They are represented by Don Springmeyer with Wolf, Rifkin, Shapiro, Schulman & Rabkin, of Las Vegas.
     Named as defendants are Bloomin’ Brands, OSI Restaurant Partners, Outback Steakhouse of Florida and OS Restaurant Services.
     Outback Steakhouse officials could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

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