A class-action lawsuit moves forward involving workers at The Inn on the Lake in Canandaigua.
SOUTH BRISTOL — About 160 workers in a class-action lawsuit alleging Bristol Harbour Resort violated labor laws will share in funds agreed to in a settlement amount totaling $412,500.
“The parties reached an amicable resolution,” said attorney Justin Cordello, who represented the workers. Eric Dolan with Trevett Cristo Salzer & Andolina P.C. represented the resort most recently in the case.
The decision signed by state Supreme Court Justice Matthew A. Rosenbaum outlines the settlement, which is subject to final court approval expected this March.
The lawsuit claimed the resort in South Bristol for six years pocketed tips that should have gone to its banquet service staff, which includes bussers, wait staff and bartenders who worked at the resort between May 2008 and May 2014. The suit was filed on behalf of former Bristol Harbour employee Allison Plante and all other employees in a similar situation.
According to the negotiated agreement, each member of the class action will receive a distribution from the settlement fund. The formula will determine what each individual member should receive based on their length of employment and other factors. The amount distributed will come from a fund balance after fees are paid. A settlement claim administrator will be paid about $16,250. Attorneys’ fees will be no more than $165,000 and litigation costs no more than $5,000.
Another local resort remains at the center of a lawsuit alleging violations of state and federal labor laws.
A complaint filed in U.S. District Court was brought on behalf of Martin Hinckley Jr., a former employee of The Inn on the Lake in Canandaigua. The complaint seeks to recover damages for Hinckley and others in his situation through a class action.
Hinckley worked at the resort and conference center from about July 2013 until July 2015 as a banquet service worker at events such as weddings, parties, conferences, corporate functions and other special events. The original complaint alleged unpaid minimum wages, unpaid overtime, improperly withheld tips, unpaid spread of hours premium, failing to maintain uniforms, providing employees with defective annual notices, and failing to provide employees with statements with every payment of wages.
Cordello represents the workers.
Defendants are The Inn on the Lake parent organizations, Seagate Hospitality Group LLC and Canandaigua Hotel Corp., and Thomas A. Blank, chief executive officer of Canandaigua Hotel Corp. Attorney Stephen Jones with Nixon Peabody LLP represent the defendants.
In recent developments, U.S. District Court Judge Charles Siragusa ruled that most of the tipped workers' labor law claims should not be dismissed. The case is now going forward as a class action, minus a few allegations including the complaint regarding unpaid overtime.
Jones said the case is entering the discovery phase. That will give Jones and his team the chance to sit down and ask the plaintiff questions under oath, among other activities during a period when both sides are able to collect and exchange information.
Jones said he will continue to “to vigorously defend the case” and “move to dismiss the entire case.”