*Clifford Harris, T.I.’s legal name, and his business partner Charles Hughes, co-owner of Scales 925 restaurant in midtown Atlanta, have been named in a lawsuit filed by 12 of their former employees who claim they are owed back wages. The lawsuit accuses Hughes specifically of violating the Fair Labor Standards Act, but since they share joint authority, Harris is equally liable.
According to the documents obtained by the AJC, Hughes deposited money from the restaurant’s payroll bank account into his own personal account, causing payroll checks to bounce. Additionally the workers claim that they were “coerced to work off the clock for three hours before they were allowed to go home,” and they would regularly work overtime but weren’t paid for it. When they would complain, Hughes allegedly ignored them, per Forbes.com.
The employees all quit en masse, saying T.I. and Hughes refused to pay them their final paychecks and “threatened to call the police” when they requested their pay. The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Atlanta by employees: Chrysten Wright, Monique Simms, Kurel Scott, Ongeli McMillan, Whitley Middleton, Sammy Davis, Jenair Perry, Millan Rodrigo, Shomari Davis, Keandra Daniels, DeMarquis Denson, and Cashara Tate.
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The documents name Harris as a defendant but the accusations are leveled against Hughes. T.I. is co-owner of the establishment and was not involved in the day-to-day operation of the restaurant.
The suit alleges:
“During Plaintiffs’ employment with Scales, they would routinely work more than 40 hours per week. Although Plaintiffs would routinely work more than 40 hours per week, they were not paid overtime. Plaintiffs complained to Scales about not being paid overtime; however, Scales would simply ignore their complaints.”
They also claim that their paychecks were unfairly docked to pay others:
“Scales would also take money out of Plaintiffs’ paycheck claiming the money was used to pay the busboys. However, the busboys told Plaintiffs they didn’t receive any money in their checks from Plaintiffs’ wages…Scales would also require Plaintiffs to pay $4.00 out of their paycheck for broken glasses even if no glasses were broken.”