Co-authored by Howard M. Wexler and Robert S. Whitman

Seyfarth Synopsis: Governor Andrew Cuomo has directed the Commissioner of Labor to schedule public hearings to address the possibility of eliminating the tip credit. A tip credit allows an employer to pay less than minimum wage to employees who receive the bulk of their pay in customer tips.

As we
Continue Reading NY Governor Signals “Tipping” Point Over Elimination of Minimum Wage Tip Credit

Authored by Cheryl Luce

Seyfarth Synopsis: Tipped workers who didn’t receive notice of the tip credit get a win under New York state minimum wage law in a case that echoes technical traps we have seen in FLSA decisions.

Throughout the year, we have been covering cases that show how the FLSA has been construed by courts as “remedial


Continue Reading Extra Credit: Franchise Restaurant Workers Clear Path to Massive Payout on Technicality Under New York Law

Authored By Alex Passantino

As we’ve reported previously, among the items the Department of Labor identified earlier this year in its Regulatory Agenda was a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) seeking to rescind portions of a 2011 rule that restricted tip pooling for employers who do not use the tip credit to satisfy their minimum wage obligations. On October
Continue Reading Tip Credit Rule to White House

Co-authored by Robert Whitman, Joanna Smith, and Samuel Sverdlov

Joining a budding national trend, renowned restaurateur Danny Meyer of Union Square Hospitality Group last week announced that he will eliminate formal tipping at his restaurants starting in 2016. Meyer stated that the new policy, aptly named “Hospitality Included,” is meant to better compensate “back of house” staff, who
Continue Reading Tip-Toeing Around Class Actions: Can a “No Tipping” Policy End Wage and Hour Litigation in the Hospitality Industry?

Arkansas-Co-authored by Abad Lopez and Noah Finkel

The two-step “send notice now/worry later” approach to FLSA collective actions — in which courts approve notice to potential collective action members under the lenient standard but comfort defendant-employers with the bromide of “don’t worry, we can revisit the issue at the decertification stage under a more rigorous standard” — continues to leave
Continue Reading Out of the Pizza Oven, Into the Fire: Any Way You Slice It, Lenient Standard at Conditional Certification Stage Doesn’t Cut It

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