(MIAMI) - Darden Restaurants violated federal labor laws by underpaying thousands of servers across the country at Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Red Lobster and other eateries, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday.
The lawsuit filed in Miami federal court seeks to collect represent current and past employees who worked for Darden from August 2009 to the present.
It seeks potentially tens of millions of dollars in back pay and other compensation, plus interest and attorney fees, said lead lawyer David Lichter.
"Darden has a company wide pattern and practice of paying its employees below minimum wage and less than what the law requires," Lichter said. " We're seeking not only to correct the wrongs that have occurred at Darden, but hopefully this will stimulate change across the country."
A spokesman at Darden, the nation's largest full- service restaurant owner and operator, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Orlando-based company's web site said it has more than 2,000 restaurants in North America that employ about 180,000 people. Darden does not franchise its restaurants.
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