March 18, 2009

Restaurant workers sue over tips

More than 30 employees of New York's 21 Club claim in a lawsuit that the restaurant has been stealing a portion of their tips for years.

The class-action lawsuit filed Tuesday in United States District Court claims the popular restaurant charges a 21.75 percent gratuity for private dining and banquet services, but pays only 18 percent of the bill collected to staff members, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

D. Maimon Kirschenbaum, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said the amount of money withheld by the restaurant during the past six years -- as far back as the suit can go under the statute of limitations -- could exceed $1 million.

A restaurant spokesman said bosses have not yet received the suit and had no comment on the proceedings.

It's one of the best restaurants in New York, and we don't deny that we love the place, but they are stealing our money, said one of the waiters who signed on to the suit. And when they say they pay us 18 percent, we have no way of even checking on that. We could be getting less.