Wage & Hour Litigation Blog

Category Archives: Service Charges/Gratuities

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Update on the Battle “Grande”: Second Circuit Upholds Starbucks’ Tip Policy

Posted in Service Charges/Gratuities, State Laws/Claims

Co-authored by John W. Egan and Nadia S. Bandukda

As we previously reported, the Second Circuit has been considering the validity of Starbucks’ tipping practices in light of the opinion from the New York Court of Appeals clarifying the prohibition in the New York Labor Law against participation in tip-pooling arrangements by employers and their “agents.”

With its certified … Continue Reading

Battle “Grande” over Starbucks’ Tip Pools: New York Court of Appeals Establishes the “Meaningful Authority” Standard

Posted in Service Charges/Gratuities, State Laws/Claims

Co-authored by John W. Egan and Robert Whitman

Retail and hospitality employers should perk up at the recent decision (here) by the New York Court of Appeals to affirm Starbucks’ tip pooling policy.  On June 26, the Court resolved questions certified by the Second Circuit (as we previously reported here) regarding the New York Labor Law’s prohibition against … Continue Reading

No Rule for You!: Federal Court Prohibits DOL from Enforcing Tip Regulations When No Tip Credit Taken

Posted in DOL Enforcement, Service Charges/Gratuities

Authored by Alex Passantino

As we reported previously, a federal judge in Oregon recently ruled that the U.S. Department of Labor’s 2011 tip-pooling regulations were invalid.  Earlier this week, the court entered a final judgment, striking down and setting aside those portions of the DOL regulations that state that “tips are the property of the employee when his/her … Continue Reading

OREGON COURT GIVES THE DOL A “TIP”: NOT EVERY STATUTORY GAP MUST BE FILLED WITH REGULATION

Posted in DOL Enforcement, Service Charges/Gratuities

Authored by Steve Shardonofsky

A federal judge in Oregon recently gave the Secretary of Labor a very important tip:  Just because the FLSA appears to be silent on a particular issue does not give the U.S. Department of Labor authority to fill the gap with regulations.  In a June 7, 2013 opinion [here], a district court ruled that … Continue Reading

Battle “Grande” over Starbucks’ Tip Pools Continues to Percolate: The New York State Department of Labor Stirs Things Up

Posted in Service Charges/Gratuities, State Laws/Claims

Co-authored by John W. Egan and Robert Whitman

We reported [here] in November on the Second Circuit’s referral of two important Labor Law questions to the New York Court of Appeals in a challenge to Starbucks’ tip-pooling policy.  Briefing is now complete and oral argument is scheduled for next week. 

The consolidated appeal, in Barenboim v. Starbucks and … Continue Reading

District Court “Tips” The Scale In Favor Of Restaurants On Server’s Tip Credit Class Claim

Posted in Conditional Certification, Defenses, Service Charges/Gratuities

Co-authored by Arthur J. Rooney and Jeremy W. Stewart

When should a tipped employee no longer be treated as a tipped employee?  Plaintiffs’ lawyers argue that restaurants cannot utilize the tip credit, or pay tipped employees a sub-minimum wage, if tipped employees perform any “non-tipped” duties, such as washing dishes or taking out the trash.  Earlier this week, a District … Continue Reading

Battle “Grande” over Starbucks’ Tip Pools Heading to the New York Court of Appeals

Posted in Service Charges/Gratuities, State Laws/Claims

 

Co-authored by John W. Egan and Robert Whitman

Tip pools and tip sharing are hot topics in New York for employers in the food service and hospitality industries. The Second Circuit recently certified to the New York Court of Appeals two questions seeking to clarify the New York Labor Law’s prohibition against participation by an employer’s “agents” in tip … Continue Reading

Tipping the Balance in the Ninth Circuit

Posted in DOL Enforcement, Service Charges/Gratuities

Authored by Alex Passantino

On February 29, 2012, the Deputy Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the U.S. Department of Labor issued Field Assistance Bulletin (“FAB”) [*] 2012-2, in which she sets forth WHD’s enforcement policy with respect to the 2011 tip credit regulations.  Readers of this blog will recall that in April 2011 WHD published … Continue Reading

Federal Court Says “Aloha” to Hotel Service Charge Practices in Hawaii

Posted in Service Charges/Gratuities

Co-Authored by Ariel Cudkowicz and Kevin Young 

As we reported earlier this summer, the hospitality industry has, in recent years, attracted the attention of various plaintiffs’ attorneys who have attacked, on behalf of service employees, practices related to levying service charges on food and beverage purchases.  While several recent decisions have stemmed the tide of such cases, threats … Continue Reading

Suite Success: Georgia Federal Court Dismisses Class Action Alleging Wrongful Retention of Service Charges at Large Venue Luxury Suites

Posted in Service Charges/Gratuities

Co-authored by Brett BartlettFritz Smith and Kevin Young

On June 8, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia dismissed with prejudice a putative class action filed on behalf of individuals who worked for Levy Restaurants as luxury suite attendants at the Georgia Dome, Philips Arena, and the Atlanta Motor Speedway.  The seven named plaintiffs … Continue Reading