Waiter Sues Upper East Side Restaurant For Working Just for Tips

A former waiter at Kaia Wine Bar on the Upper East Side of Manhattan has filed a lawsuit for failing to pay him, and other tipped workers, any wages when working as waiters or bartenders.

The Complaint, filed in New York Federal Court alleges that throughout his employment at Kaia Wine Bar, a South African theme restaurant and wine bar, he and other servers at the restaurant worked just for tips.

Both federal and state labor laws require all workers, even those receiving tips, to receive the applicable minimum wage along with overtime wages. In New York City, although the regular minimum wage is $15 per hour, a server may be paid a “tipped minimum wage” of $10 an hour so long as their employer informs them about the tip credit in writing and accurately tracks their tips to make sure they earned at least the regular minimum wage rate of $15 an hour when their earnings from tips and the hourly rate are added together.  That being said, waiters are still entitled to at least the regular overtime rate of $22.50 for hours worked over forty in a workweek.

The wage theft lawsuit against Kaia Wine Bar alleges that waiters and bartenders were not paid any wages for work performed but rather worked just for tips. When an employer fails to comply with these wage payment laws, the worker has the right to recover unpaid wages along with liquidated damages, attorney’s fees, costs, and interest.

If you believe you are victim of wage theft, please contact the attorneys at Pechman Law Group at 212-583-9500. We have recovered over 20 million dollars on behalf of workers who have been cheated out of their overtime or have been subjected to other unlawful pay practices.


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