I have blogged before about fancy golf clubs being sued for FLSA violations. Well, here is another one. The Farm Neck Golf Club is a members-only golf club on Martha’s Vineyard, where Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton have played. This organization was just sued in a putative collective/class action by a cafe cook who alleged that she was not properly paid for overtime hours. The case is entitled Shkuratova v. Farm Neck Association Inc. and was filed in federal court in the District of Massachusetts.
The former cook, Anna Shkuratova, began a putative class action over overtime compensation for violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and state law. The Complaint stated that the “plaintiff was subject to defendants’ common practices, policies or plans including failing to pay at least minimum wage for all regular hours worked, failing to pay at least one and one-half times the regular rate of pay for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week, failing to compensate plaintiff and class members for hours worked off the clock and failing to keep accurate time and payroll records in violation of the FLSA.”
The golf club is located in a very pretty piece of farmland on the eastern edge of the island, right on the water. It has earned a consistently high rating in Golf Digest’s Places to Play, “and is considered by many to be one of the premiere golfing experiences in the Northeast, a true test of golf in an idyllic setting.”
The named plaintiff states that she worked as a cook at the club’s Cafe at Farm Neck from May 2016-September 2016. The plaintiffs seek five subclasses of employees who were not paid minimum and overtime wages and who worked off the clock, such as kitchen employees, front-of-house cafe workers, golf course workers such as golf professionals and pro shop salespeople, tennis pros and maintenance workers.
It is the off-the-clock allegations that, to me, are the most troubling. Oftentimes, employers have to work under very tight labor budgets and there is pressure, implicit or otherwise, to stay within those budgets. It is that pressure that sometimes results in FLSA violations.