Gaspar Michel, a former server at popular French eatery Brasserie 19, is suing his former employer alleging that they forced him to hand over part of his earnings into a tip pool.
The suit, filed in the United States District Court in the Southern District of Texas, alleges that Brasserie 19’s owners required Michel and other servers in the restaurant to contribute 25% of their total sales to a tip pool that was “wholly controlled” by the employer. In fact, Michel’s suit says that he can’t even calculate the money allegedly owed to him by the company because it “controls all records concerning the tip credit.”
Michel’s petition alleges that this forced tip pooling violates the Fair Labor Standards Act because it “did not meet the requirements of a valid tip pool.” “The tips were retained by the restaurant and/or distributed to employees who do not customarily and regularly receive tips, and it required [Michel] to contribute a greater percentage than is customary and reasonable,” reads the original filing in part. Further, the petition asks that the judge to consider the case a “collective action,” as Michel believes that other servers at Brasserie 19 may also be owed back pay.
The case will head to trial on June 13. Stay tuned for more details as this story develops.
- Former Brasserie 19 server alleges tip pool paid employees who don’t regularly receive tips [Southeast Texas Record]