Author: Jeffrey K. Brown: Waiters Rights
Leeds, Morelli & Brown, PC: New York Employment Law Attorneys

Jeffrey K Brown, Leeds Morelli & Brown, PC

NY caterers fighting to dismiss current unpaid tips claims by employees and former employees

With the help of the NY senate, New York area catering halls have proposed two bills to avoid paying their workers’ for existing claims regarding unpaid tips which were taken as “mandatory gratuities” from catering customers.  The two bills currently being considered in Albany would retroactively end the claims of workers in many recently filed lawsuits in New York, where employees and former employees are seeking payment of unpaid gratuities under Section 196(d) of the state Labor Law.

Jeff Brown, a partner at Leeds, Morelli & Brown, P.C., represents workers in many of the lawsuits that have been filed against caterers across the New York area.  “They want the law to say ‘you can’t be sued from today going back, but you promise not to do it going forward… And they were hoping to sneak this by in the legislature without anyone noticing it. Meanwhile the workers will be left in the cold” said Mr. Brown. Lenard Leeds, also a partner at Leeds, Morelli & Brown, P.C., added, “These greedy owners simply do not want to pay the workers the gratuities that they rightfully earned, that the owners collected, and that the courts have held must be paid… They want to retroactively say they have done nothing wrong – even though that’s not what the law and the courts have said.”

Under Section 196-d of the New York State Labor Law:  “No employer or his agent or an officer or agent of any corporation, or any other person shall demand or accept, directly or indirectly, any part of the gratuities, received by an employee, or retain any part of a gratuity or of any charge purported to be a gratuity for an employee. This provision shall not apply to the checking of hats, coats or other apparel. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed as affecting the allowances from the minimum wage for gratuities in the amount determined in accordance with the provisions of article nineteen of this chapter nor as affecting practices in connection with banquets and other special functions where a fixed percentage of the patron’s bill is added for gratuities which are distributed to employees, nor to the sharing of tips by a waiter with a busboy or similar employee.”  Read More

Our lawyers excel at helping its clients collect the compensation they have earned and the justice they deserve.  If you or someone you know has been faced with a labor dispute, unpaid overtime, wage dispute, employer discrimination, or just looking to speak with an employment attorney, please contact our law office, Leeds, Morelli & Brown, PC, 1-888-5-JOBLAW, at One Old Country Road, Suite 347, Carle Place, NY, 11514-1851.