Donnie and Mark Wahlberg have been sued over alleged "wage theft" at their family's Wahlburgers restaurant chain.
The siblings, who along with their brother Paul are the owners of the popular hamburger joint, have been named in a class action complaint filed on Thursday (18Aug16) in New York federal court.
In the documents obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, the plaintiffs allege the brothers' Coney Island, New York franchise has been "rampant with wage theft and violations of federal and state labor law" since it opened last year (15).
They claim the restaurant bosses "maintained a pattern and practice of regularly shaving compensable time from the weekly hours of all its non-exempt employees, including servers, bartenders, bussers, and kitchen staff, and paying them significantly fewer hours than they actually worked."
The plaintiffs also alleged restaurant chiefs "regularly retained gratuities left by customers for tipped employees" and "repeatedly ignored the requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act."
The complaint reads: "The Wahlberg brothers pride themselves on taking an active role in managing their locations and insuring that their restaurants meet their high standards for customer and employee experience. Indeed, the company's slogan is 'Our family, our story, our burgers'."
A lawyer for the plaintiffs tells The Hollywood Reporter employees were fed up with the lack of compensation and failed to get attention from company bosses, so they had no other choice but to file the complaint.
"The plaintiffs first went to local management, and they didn't do anything," attorney Mitchell Schley says. "Then they complained to Paul in Boston, but they were so frustrated after months and months of hearing nothing."
Donnie, Mark and Paul opened the first Wahlburgers in their native Massachusetts in 2011, and there are now locations in six states throughout the and one in Toronto, Canada.
The eatery is also featured in the Emmy-nominated docu-series Wahlburgers, which is currently in the middle of its sixth season.