“…According to the lawsuit, restaurant employees werenâ€™t allowed to keep all of their tips because they were required to â€œtip outâ€ managers and other employees who do not regularly and customarily receive tips. That resulted in employeesâ€™ being paid less than minimum wage…a tip pool canâ€™t include managers or other workers, such as chefs or dishwashers, who donâ€™t typically receive tips…The lawsuit requests a jury trial for five counts of Fair Labor Standard Act violations and a count of unjust enrichment. It seeks an unspecified amount in damages thatÂ (the attorney) said would ultimately prove â€œsubstantial.â€”
A federal lawsuit filed Monday alleges that Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment, which runs Jeff Rubyâ€™s Steakhouse and Jeff Rubyâ€™s Carlo & Johnny, forced employees to share tips with managers and other workers in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The practice allegedly stopped about a year ago, but lawyers for three former employees aim to recoup losses from a two-year period beginning in 2010.
Lawyers Sarah Clay Leyshock and Kristen M. Myers â€“ both of the law firm Beckman Weil Shepardson LLC â€“ filed the class-action suit on behalf of the three former employees as well as anyone else who might step forward in the case. Two of the represented employees worked at Carlo & Johnny in Montgomery while the third worked at the Downtown steakhouse, Leyshock said.
â€œUnder the Fair Labor Standard Act, employees are required to retain their own tips. The one exception is that employees can be required to share their tips in a valid tip pool,â€ Leyshock said. She said invalid tip pools are fairly common, but still illegal.