Restaurant Law Blog

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Yankees’ In-Seat Food Service Providers File Class Action Lawsuit Alleging Theft Of Tips.

In the field level seating section of Yankee Stadium, spectators are given menus that read:  “A 20% service charge will be added to the listed prices…”  That statement has become the subject of a class action lawsuit filed in Federal Court on May 9, 2011 which alleges that the catering companies that service Yankee Stadium misappropriated employee tips.  The lawsuit contends that the catering companies kept the twenty percent ‘service charge’ on top of the cost for the food and drink.  According to the employees, the ‘service charge’ was actually a gratuity that was owed to the employees.  In support of their claim, employees cited the recent 2008 New York Court of Appeal’s decision in Samiento v. World Yacht Inc., 10 N.Y.3d 70 (2008), which held that charges that are not voluntary payments made by the consumer, may be a “charge purported to be a gratuity within the meaning of the New York Labor Law statute.”  Even the Yankees Can’t Avoid Employee Wage Lawsuits.

James DiPasquale, Esq.

DIPASQUALE LAW GROUP

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