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The Kaplan Law Firm recently collected a judgment of $27,733.32 arising from a popular Arlington, Virginia restaurant and bar’s failure to pay the firm’s client, a janitor, the overtime he was owed.

The case was filed in July 2019, but the Defendants–the restaurant, its principal owner, and one of its managers–refused to appear in court or to otherwise respond to the lawsuit. Unfortunately, it is not unusual for abusive employers to simply ignore lawsuits. They know that, even if a court rules against them, collecting on a judgment is often such a lengthy, time-consuming and expensive proposition that there is a good chance that the employer may never have to pay any damages awarded. Unfortunately for the defendants in this case, however, The Kaplan Law Firm was patient and persistent. Ultimately, we were able to seize the entire amount of the judgment from the restaurant’s bank account. The judgment includes both the client’s unpaid wages, an equal amount in liquidated damages (damages Congress intended to deter failure to pay overtime) and a substantial amount for attorneys’ fees.

The case is Ayala v. Quinns 1776, LLC and it was litigated in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. It alleged that the defendant restaurant, which is located in Arlington’s Rosslyn neighborhood, violated the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), which generally requires employers to pay their employees at a time and a half hourly rate for all hours over forty worked in any particular work week. Unfortunately, violation of the FLSA’s overtime requirement is widespread, especially in the restaurant and construction industries. The Kaplan Law Firm regularly represents workers who have not been paid wages that they are legally owed.

Attorney Lenore Garon, The Kaplan Law Firm’s cocounsel in this case, contributed greatly to this successful result.