Hospitality Industry Employees Risks: Hawaiian Hotels Violated State Law When Service Employees Not Given 100% Of Service Charges For Food And Beverage Service

“…The suit, filed by Turtle Bay employees in January 2009, claimed the resort violated a state law enacted in 2000 that requires hotels and restaurants to give 100% of service charges for food or beverage service entirely to employees – unless they tell customers that management’s keeping a portion, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser says…”

Employees of the Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu’s scenic North Shore won a $526,000 settlement  in a lawsuit over tips that had been split among workers and the company without customers knowing.

At least nine similar suits have been filed over the last two years against major Hawaii hotels, Brandee Faria – the Turtle Bay employees’ lawyer – tells the Star-Advertiser. And it’s not only the employees who are hiring lawyers.

Some of the suits were filed on behalf of hotel customers who thought they’d paid tips to staffers – not hotel management.

In a case against the Four Seasons hotels on Maui and the Big Island, the Star-Advertiser says that Hawaii Supreme Court in March ruled that hotel and restaurant employees may sue under the law.

The Turtle Bay settlement covers 130 employees who worked at the hotel between 2005 and 2009; the amount would mean $4,046 per employee if the settlement was shared equally, the story says. Settlement checks were mailed out recently.

For more: http://travel.usatoday.com/hotels/post/2010/07/hawaii-hotel-workers-win-526000-settlement-in-back-tips/100924/1

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