Cases & Deals

Morton's obtains dismissal in putative class action alleging various tip and meal credit claims

Client(s) Morton's Restaurant Group, Inc.

Jones Day successfully represented Morton's Restaurant Group, Inc. against a class complaint action seeking to represent individuals who worked as servers at seven different locations from April 2005 to the present in connection with various tip and meal credit claims under the Illinois Minimum Wage Law and Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act. Morton's filed a motion to dismiss the class action complaint and compel individual arbitration, pursuant to the mandatory arbitration agreements Harwell signed as a condition of her employment, which precluded the arbitration of class claims. In response, the Plaintiff argued the class action waiver was unconscionable and, therefore, unenforceable under Illinois law. The circuit court found the class action waiver in Morton's employment arbitration agreement was enforceable under Illinois law. Accordingly, the court held Harwell's exclusive remedy for her employment claims lie in individual arbitration and dismissed the class action complaint with prejudice.

Tracy Harwell, et al. v. Morton's Restaurant Group, Inc., Case No. 08- CH 12535 (Illinois, Cook County)