In case you’re still cherishing some vain hope that the corporatocracy isn’t as rotten as it seems to be, you’d better have a look at this:
A group of Ritz-Carlton banquet servers in Boston has filed a class-action lawsuit that accuses the hotel company of breaking state wage law by failing to pay them the full 21 percent service fee charged to all private parties.
Banquet servers at the Ritz receive only 14.5 percent of the mandatory fee, which for years has been added to the food and beverage bills for weddings, parties, and other functions held at the Arlington Street hotel. The remaining 6.5 percent is used by the hotel to offset other expenses.
The complaint, filed today in Suffolk Superior Court, is the most recent in a series of so-called tip cases by service workers who allege that their employers are depriving them of compensation by withholding tips, which are sometimes distributed to other staff members, including managers.
In the Ritz case, banquet workers contend that customers often think the charge is a tip for servers, when in fact nearly a third of it is kept by the hotel. As a result, banquet staff are routinely tipped less than many patrons are aware — and less than some patrons intend them to be, the servers say.
“Customers are led to believe that the gratuity is a nice 21 percent tip, but only part of that is going to the employees who serve the food and beverages,” said Boston attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan, who filed the suit. “So customers are very unlikely to tip on top of that because 21 percent is already considered a good gratuity.”
In the service industry, as anybody who’s ever waited tables can tell you, they keep wages at an extraordinarily low level, often waaaaay below minimum wage, by counting tips as part of your pay. So how’s that for a scam? They pay you very little on the strength of a promise to collect a fair gratuity to add to your check, then they keep 30% of it for themselves.
The corporatocracy: no heart, no brain, no conscience.