Case Title: Barnes, II v. Gracia Mexican Kitchen, LLC
Case No. 2:18-cv-00140
On May 16, 2018, we filed this collective and class action on behalf of all current and former employees who worked for Gracia Mexican Kitchen as non-exempt employees and were not paid for all hours worked, were not paid minimum wage, and were not paid all of their earned tips.
What is the Case about?
We filed this collective and class action against Gracia’s in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas for a class of hourly employees who were not paid for all hours worked, not paid the minimum wage, and were not paid all of their earned tips.
The Case alleges that Gracia’s violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by failing to pay hourly employees for all hours worked, minimum wage, and withholding tips earned by employees. Specifically, the case alleges that these workers were paid the tip credit wage even when they should have been paid the full minimum wage. The Case also alleges that Gracia’s managers wrongfully withheld tips from servers and engaged in time shaving.
Plaintiffs believe that they and other hourly employees are entitled to recover unpaid tips, unpaid wages, unpaid overtime, interest on the unpaid wages, liquidated damages, attorney’s fees, and costs.
Who is Eligible for this Case?
Anyone who worked for Gracia’s as an hourly worker in the past three years and was not paid for all hours worked, was not paid the minimum wage, and/or was not paid all of the tips they earned are potentially eligible for the Case.
How do I Join the Case?
You may join the Case by e-signing the Consent Form. You may also print out the form, sign it, and mail it to our office at, 819 North Upper Broadway, Corpus Christi, TX 78401. It is important to sign and return this form as quickly as possible because the time period for your recoverable wages will depend on when this form is filed with the Court.
Can I be fired for joining?
The law prohibits Employers, or their agents, from firing, harassing, discriminating, or retaliating against an employee for taking part in a case for back wages.
Will this cost me anything?
You will not pay anything to join this case. This case is being handled on a contingency fee basis. Our firm will only be paid if we win the case and recover your back wages. Our payment will come out of the recovery amount.
May Update: We filed this Case on May 16, 2018.
June Update: We filed our Certificate of Interested Parties on June 1, 2018.
July Update: Defendants filed their Answer on June 25, 2018.
August Update: A Pretrial Conference was held on August 22, 2018.
September Update: Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss on September 13, 2018.
October Update: We filed our response to Defendants’ Motions and are awaiting a ruling by the presiding Judge.
November Update: Defendants’ motions to dismiss as to Defendants Hoeg, Martinez, Gracia Mexican Kitchen, and Pasta Company have been denied.
December Update: We have filed our Motion to Conditionally Certify the Class of non-exempt employees.
January Update: Oral Arguments on Conditional Certification were held on January 10, 2019. We won the Motion and Judge Libby granted Certification for Bartenders and Servers. Dish Washers were excluded from the Class unfortunately but we have already filed a new case on their behalf to retrieve their unpaid wages. Gracia will have to turn over the contact information for those bartenders and servers affected by Gracia’s policy and we will mail them notice to join the case.
February Update: We are entering the Notice Period. We will send notice and consent forms by mail, email, and text-message to former Bartenders and Servers who may join this current case. The Deadline to join this case is April 8, 2019.
March Update: We are in the notice period. The deadline to join this case is April 8, 2019. If you have friends or family members who worked for Gracia please feel free to share this site with them so they can learn about this case.
The Notice Period for this Case has closed. If you would like to join this case please contact our office for more information.
April Update: There is a scheduling conference with the Court on April 17, 2019. Currently, Trial is set for January 13, 2020.