News Brief

Department of Labor obtains $316K judgment against Little Big Burger restaurants for taking workers’ tips to pay managers in Oregon, Washington

Employer:                     LBB Progress Ridge LLC, operating as Little Big Burger 

                                      12345 SW Horizon Blvd. Ste #41

                                      Beaverton, OR 97007 

Type of action:                      Consent judgment and order

Name of defendants:            LBB Progress Ridge LLC

Amergent Hospitality Group Inc.

Fred Glick

Mike Pruitt

Adrian Oca

Background: Investigators with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found LBB Progress Ridge LLC and Amergent Hospitality Group Inc – owners and operators of Little Big Burger restaurant locations in Oregon and Washington – required employees at 14 locations to share a portion of their tips with managers, a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. They determined the employers knew about federal regulations for tip pools but willfully required workers to share their earned tips.

Resolution: The consent judgment orders the employers to pay $148,248 in tips illegally withheld and an equal amount in damages to 581 workers and forbids the employers from future violations. It also orders the employers to pay $20,000 in penalties assessed by the department for their willful violations. 

Court:                         U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon

Docket Number:       3:24-cv-00736-MO

Quote: “Oregon’s Little Big Burger joins a list of shameful U.S. restaurant employers we’ve found shortchanging workers by misusing some of their tips to pay managers not allowed to pocket tips,” said Regional Solicitor of Labor Marc Pilotin in San Francisco. “Federal law forbids employers from keeping employees’ tips — either direct from customers or shared in a tip pool — for any purpose.” 

Background: The division investigated Little Big Burger locations in Beaverton, Eugene, Hillsboro and Lake Oswego, as well as nine in Portland and one in Seattle.

The division’s Portland District Office conducted the investigation and the department’s Office of the Solicitor in San Francisco obtained the consent judgment. 

“Since 2022, the Wage and Hour Division has recovered more than $2 million in unpaid tips for more than 1,500 people employed as restaurant workers in Oregon and Idaho,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Katherine Walum in Portland. “Federal law protects every worker’s right to be paid their full, earned wages. As Little Big Burger has learned, wage theft brings costly consequences for employers.”

Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division. For confidential compliance assistance, employees and employers can call the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243), regardless of where they are from.

Download the agency’s new Timesheet App for iOS and Android devices – also available in Spanish –to ensure hours and pay are accurate.

Wage and Hour Division
May 9, 2024
Release Number
Media Contact: Michael Petersen
Media Contact: Jose Carnevali
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