The Kaplan Law Firm recently obtained a substantial judgment for unpaid overtime, unpaid wages and attorneys’ fees against a popular Arlington, Virginia restaurant which failed to pay the firm’s client the minimum wage and overtime.
The defendants in the case, which was filed in July of last year, were Quinn’s On The Corner, a restaurant in Arlington’s Rosslyn neighborhood which claims to be “Rosslyn’s favorite sports bar,” and two managers or owners of that establishment: Reese Gardner and Jody Hessler. The case is somewhat unusual in that it ended in a default judgment because the Defendants knew about the case but ignored the summonses issued to them by a federal court. Default judgments are not unusual when a business has become defunct. But it is unusual—and not wise from a defendant’s perspective—for an operating business (and Quinn’s On The Corner continues to operate even during the current pandemic) to simply ignore litigation.
The Kaplan Law Firm’s client was a low wage food server and busboy at the restaurant. In our opinion the case illustrates rampant violations of wage in hour laws that occur in the Washington, D.C. area in general and in Northern Virginia in particular. Many employers seemingly think that they are free to ignore not only wage and hour laws, but even their obligations to the court system when they are sued for their illegal conduct. Unfortunately for such employers, however, ignoring a lawsuit is not wise, as it normally leads to a default judgment against them, as occurred in this case.
The case is Ayala v. Quinn’s 1176, LLC, 1:19-cv-0888, and judgment was awarded by the Alexandria Division of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.