Although the popular slot machine chain Dotty’s is well loved by many of its customers, not all employees feel the same love. Roughly 700 of its employees filed a class-action lawsuit against the company, and won, for being forced to cover shortfalls in the till out of their own pockets.
The lawsuit was initially filed in 2013 by attorney Paul Breed on behalf of the employees. Breed argued that after covering the shortages, Dotty’s employees were pulling in less than minimum wage, which violated state law. Oregon Restaurant Services, which owns Dotty’s, agreed to pay $375,000 plus any legal fees.
“We’ve had some class members get as much as $5,000,” Breed said. “We’re just happy that a mutually agreeable resolution was reached and we’re happy that everybody can move on with their lives and their business,” said Will Rasmussen, an attorney who represented Oregon Restaurant Services.
According to Jeff Chicoine, a college of Will Rasmussen who also represents Oregon Restaurant Services, feels the company did nothing wrong because it never did deduct from employees pay. Chicoine also said that the company changed this policy in 2011 after former employee Patrick Burns filed a lawsuit for the same reason.
Burns came out $8,500 ahead, said it wasn’t uncommon for him to handle upwards of $14,000 in cash on a daily basis. “Anyone handling cash, you’re human, you’re going to make a mistake one way or another,” he said. Burns was ok with replenishing the till, but when the amounts got up to $50 or $100 and he didn’t feel the shortfalls were his fault, that’s when things got bad.
“To me, we accomplished everything we set out to,” Breed said.