Wage & Hour Litigation Blog

Category Archives: Service Charges/Gratuities

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Another Federal Court Thinks the DOL Is Out to Lunch On Tip Credit Rule

Posted in DOL Enforcement, Service Charges/Gratuities

Authored by Noah Finkel and Cheryl A. Luce

Seyfarth Synopsis: New decision from Northern District of Georgia rejects the DOL’s interpretation of the FLSA tip credit law. Holds that the FLSA does not regulate tips received by employees who are paid at least minimum wage.

Imagine that you are a restaurateur. You employ servers and bartenders who receive tips, but … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit Serves Up Employer-Friendly Recipe For Compensating Tipped Employees

Posted in Service Charges/Gratuities

Authored by Gerald L. Maatman, Jr. and Jennifer A. Riley

Seyfarth Synopsis: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit served up some welcome relief for employers in Schaefer v. Walker Bros. Enterprises, in which the court rejected Plaintiff’s theory and affirmed a district court’s order granting summary judgment in favor of Defendants.

Many employers, particularly in the hospitality … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit “Tips” Away from Prior Decision, Finds Pooling Rules Applicable

Posted in DOL Enforcement, Service Charges/Gratuities

Authored by Alex Passantino

All around the country, tipping practices have been coming under scrutiny.  Restaurants increasingly have abandoned their use of tip credit — and tipping — partially due to a belief that a higher wage not tied to the fluctuations of tipping is better for morale and operations, and partially due to the complexities of dealing with wage … Continue Reading

I’m Dreaming of a White Collar: 2015 Year in Review

Posted in Arbitration Agreements, City/Local Ordinances, Conditional Certification, Damages, Decertification, Defenses, Discovery, DOL Enforcement, Executive Orders, Hybrid Lawsuits, Independent Contractors, Joint Employment, Jurisdiction, Meal/Rest Breaks, Misclassification/Exemptions, Off-the-Clock Issues, Offer of Judgment, Overtime, Regular Rate, Rule 23 Certification, Salary Basis, Service Charges/Gratuities, Settlement, State Laws/Claims, Uncategorized

Authored by Alex Passantino

‘Twas the week before Christmas, 2-0-1-5 When the poetry elves on the blog came alive. Crafting their rhymes with a purpose so clear: Presenting the wage-hour gems of the year.

In January, for new regs in this year our breath bated. Then for six painful months, we speculated and waited. And just as … Continue Reading

Court Batters “Dual Jobs” Claim And Finds That Servers’ Duties Do Not Require Minimum Wage

Posted in Service Charges/Gratuities

Co-authored by Gerald L. Maatman, Jr. and Jennifer A. Riley

Restaurant servers are some of the few employees to whom employers can pay less than the minimum wage.  This is because they receive tips from customers that, so long as those tips are large enough, often push an employee’s income well above minimum wage.  The FLSA thus allows an employer … Continue Reading

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