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A Former Bartender Is Suing Scottsdale's Boondocks Patio & Grill

Entrance to Boondocks Patio & Grill in Old Town Scottsdale.EXPAND
Entrance to Boondocks Patio & Grill in Old Town Scottsdale.
Lynn Trimble
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A former server and bartender is suing Boondocks Patio & Grill in Scottsdale, alleging unpaid wages and other violations of state and federal law. Boondocks opened just over seven years ago at 4341 North 75th Street in Scottsdale, where it’s been a staple of Old Town nightlife.

According to the lawsuit, plaintiff Hailey Wander worked full-time at the bar for nearly two years, starting in May 2018. She’s alleging that the bar failed to pay overtime and improperly pooled employee tips.

Bar owners Jacob and Luke Kory, and their spouses, are also named as defendants in the case.

Jacob denied the allegations in a May 13 email to Phoenix New Times. “All allegations are incorrect and false,” he wrote. “I can’t comment any further at this time because the litigation is pending.” The defendants are represented by Scottsdale attorney Lori A. Metcalf, who described the allegations as “false and factually incorrect” in a May 14 email to New Times.

Wander is represented by attorneys Robert S. Reder and Shayna Fernandez Watts, who filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in the District of Arizona on May 5. It’s a collective action complaint, which means other former or current employees could choose to become plaintiffs in the case, assuming the court okays it.

“We believe there are more than 50 people in the class,” Watts told New Times by phone on May 13.

The case involves several elements of the Fair Labor Standards Act, which addresses wages, overtime, tips, and other aspects of employment in both the private and government sectors.

Essentially, Wander is alleging that Boondocks broke the law in three ways: by clocking her out early so she wasn’t paid for all the time she worked, by failing to pay time-and-a-half when she worked more than 40 hours per week, and by pooling tips to pay managers and security guards.

Now, she’s seeking to recover lost wages and tips, plus interest, as well as attorneys’ fees. The lawsuit also calls for punitive damages against Boondocks and the other defendants, without specifying an amount.

Watts requested a jury trial, and says that’s her standard practice.

“Having a case heard before a jury of one’s peers is always a good way to go on employment cases,” she says. “I think most people would understand that if they did the work, they should be paid for it.”

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