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Rapper TI’s Restaurant Sued By Former Employees for Wage Theft and Retaliation

Emanuel Shirazi

Atlanta rapper, TI, may be best known for his mainstream hits such as “You Can Have Whatever You Like” and “Live Your Life” featuring Rihanna, but did you know that he was also the co-owner of a restaurant in downtown Atlanta called Scales 925? The restaurant, which opened in March 2015, serves Southern cuisine in an upscale atmosphere.

Both TI, whose birth name is Clifford Harris Jr., and his business partner Charles Hughes, are being sued by twelve former employees for unpaid wages. The employees claim that both Harris (TI) and Hughes have violated the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Though the plaintiffs are accusing Hughes specifically, Harris (TI) is also equally liable since they are co-owners.

Hughes is being accused of the following nefarious pay practices:

  1. Connected his personal bank account to the restaurant’s and then deposited payroll money into his own account. When employees tried to cash their paychecks, they bounced.
  2. Employees claimed that they were required to work off the clock before being allowed to go home.
  3. Employees claimed that they weren’t paid for overtime.
  4. The restaurants time and billing software, ALOHA, would delete hours once an employee racked up 40 hours a week.
  5. Money from the employees’ paychecks was used to pay busboys, though the busboys claim they never received these wages.
  6. Money from the employees’ paychecks was used to pay Georgia payroll taxes, though these taxes were never paid.
  7. Money from the employees’ paychecks was used to pay for “broken glasses”, even if there weren’t any broken glasses.
  8. Hughes programmed ALOHAin such as way that caused employees to claim $35 in tips, even when employees did not.
  9. Employees allege that they were denied their last paychecks upon leaving the company.

When plaintiffs complained to Hughes about the wage discrepancies, they were either ignored, their hours were cut, or they were fired out of retaliation. The total amount of back pay that the restaurant owes the plaintiffs is more than $75,000.The plaintiffs are seeking back pay, liquidated damages, nominal damages, compensatory damages, attorney fee and punitive damages.

What do you think of these accusations of wage theft?

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