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November 19, 2016

Lawsuit alleging unfair pay prompts concern of Camden County

Lawsuit against private restaurant monitored because of overlapping management

A lawsuit by former workers at a South Jersey restaurant alleging the owners of Keg n Kitchen in Westmont cheated them has Camden County government’s attention.

That’s because owner Kevin Meeker of Haddonfield is among the partners operating the Cooper House, a restaurant owned by the county and leased out for operation.

The suit alleges Meeker and his wife Karen Meeker altered workers’ time sheets and have improperly applied tip credits to avoid paying minimum wage.

Three workers also claim the Meekers have pressured current employees to not join a proposed class-action suit.

The restaurant has denied the allegations. However, lawyer Douglas Diaz, a Haddonfield attorney, did not respond to a call Friday from PhillyVoice seeking comment.

Both sides are to present oral arguments next Wednesday before a federal judge in Camden.

Dan Keashen, a spokesman for Camden County, said while the management of the Cooper House is not precisely the same as the Keg n Kitchen, the county is aware of the suit’s allegations involving Meeker, who is deeply involved in management of the Cooper House.

“We are monitoring it,” Keashen said Friday.