Former employees sue Florida yacht club

Five former employees of the Bradenton Yacht Club filed a collective action lawsuit against the club.
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Five former employees of the Bradenton Yacht Club filed a collective action lawsuit against the club, arguing that the club failed to pay Florida's full minimum wage to servers and bartenders, who also had other duties.

Four employees joined a complaint originally filed in Florida's Middle U.S. District Court in 2014 by another former employee, the Bradenton Herald reports.

Servers and bartenders work for hourly wages that are less than the minimum wage and receive tips from guests.

According to court documents, one complainant, Debbie Arbuckle, said she worked for a wage of $4.91, $6.00 or $6.18 and was not reimbursed to the total Florida minimum wage of $8.05 because she performed non-tip-producing duties such as setting up or breaking down equipment for parties that "typically comprise more than 50 percent of the shift."

The yacht club is a nonprofit corporation with fiscal 2013 revenue of nearly $2.5 million and $2.4 million in expenses, according to guidestar.org.

Although she couldn't say much because the litigation is pending, Arbuckle spoke about the effect that the lack of wage reimbursement has had on her life.

"I have had to go to food banks for my family because my life was pulled out from under me," she said.

A mediation session is scheduled for Thursday in Tampa in an effort to resolve the case.

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