Stealing Tips

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.


6 Responses

  1. I couldn’t agree more. Shit, if it were left for me to decide, women wouldn’t even be allowed out of the house. Despite their extraordinary cooking and cleaning skills, their superb ways of manipulating washing machines/dryers, and the single fact that they do have breasts and a vagina, women could, on many different levels, be considered a pointless ball of flesh and complaints.

  2. I take it “the brain” sobriquet is satire.

    Fortunately for all of us, Kevin, nothing is up to you to decide. You can climb back under your rock and go to sleep again. I promise you, you won’t be missed.

  3. yeah ur a fag. ill agree that women are mainly for their reproduction (which is just how nature is) but…
    Girls can be fun and be someone you can always trust, tell anythign you want to, and love you.
    Youll never get laid, get a girlfriend (or even a friend in that case), or understand anything. my advice for you is to kill yourself. And btw… like mick said…

  4. First off, service charges are not tips. While tips are defined under federal law as that which an employee must retain, service charges, on the other hand, are defined under federal law as that which belongs to the employer.

    Service charges are nothing more than an attempt to decieve the customer into believing he has given an employee a tip, when infact, he has given additional revenues over to the business.

    Service charges are the businesses property and yet many businesses are fraudulently suggesting that such service charges may be paid instead of tipping.

    The truth of the matter is, business owners are deceiving customers into a false perception that the service charge they pay is the same as the tip they would normally present a worker. The truth of the matter is, a service charge belongs to the business while a tip, normally presented, must be retained by the tipped employee.

    Service Charges are nothing more than fraud on the consumer. While service charges imply that a tip may be given by paying the service charge, the truth of the matter is the money legally becomes the property of the business not the employee. When a tip is given, federal laws state that all tips received must be retained by the employee. When a service charge is required, the money legally becomes the employer’s to keep as his own.

    The worst part of this whole situation is, if employers need more revenues, why don’t they simply charge more for their services. Instead of charging more for their services, they have intentionally decided to defraud the publc into giveing them additional income while they are mislead to believe they are providing additional income to their employees. It’s Fraud, nothing but ugly fraud.

  5. Federal regulations state,
    A tip is a sum presented by a customer as a gift or gratuity in recognition of some service performed for him. It is to be distinguished from payment of a charge, if any, made for the service. Whether a tip is to be given, and its amount, are matters determined solely by the customer, and generally he has the right to determine who shall be the recipient of his gratuity.

    The reason service charges are supposed to be distinguished from tips is because neglecting to inform customers of whether they are giving a tip or paying a charge would be fraud on the customer. If customers were fraudulently led to believe that they are tipping employees when, in fact, they are unknowingly giving the business additional revenue, it would be fraud.

    The truth of the matter is, federal regulations have defined service fees as money belonging to the employer. If an employer wants to charge customers a fee for service, then he is supposed to inform customers that the money is not a tip. That’s what federal regulations mean when they state that a tip is to be distinguished from payment of a charge. It would be fraud for an employer to solicit tips for his employees when his true intent was to keep the money for himself.

  6. Want to control your own tip receipts? Sign up at Ziptip is a new service that allows your customers to tip you using their smart phones. It is just launching (summer 2011) and already signing up tippees at Simply sign up and show your customers your Ziptip Medallion (it’s just like a business card but doesn’t share any confidential info about you and contains the info Tippers need to tip you with their phones). You can get the Medallions at too. Start controlling your own tips – they belong to you!

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