Insider Louisville's Steve Coomes weighed in on Lynn's Paradise Cafe's new tip-out policy and found it neither burdensome or illegal:
I'm not saying [Lynn's Paradise Cafe owner Lynn] Winter's right or wrong — and it's certainly not illegal—I'm merely saying it's not that onerous a demand in a profession where full-time servers make between $20,000 and $50,000–or more–a year.
A refresher: on Jan. 2, 2013, Lynn's started requiring all food servers to carry $100 cash for each shift to tip out support staff. Lynn's fired at least one waitress who failed to do so.
Coomes also wrote, "Eater Louisville implied that what Winter is doing is against the law. Eater made no implication that Lynn's policy was illegal, just asking the question. Speaking of which, a commenter suggested inquiring about the policy's legality with the Kentucky Labor Cabinet. A voice mail message was left with Michael Sullivan, an investigator in the cabinet's Wage and Hour Division, at 2:20 p.m. today. Updates as they arrive...
UPDATE Jan. 12, 2:14 p.m. Kentucky Jobs for Justice Executive Director Flaco Aleman, who is working on behalf of the fired serves to raise awareness of the issue, told WAVE 3 news that the policy was illegal: "'The law says workers cannot be forced to tip pool in Kentucky,' Aleman said. 'It can be an agreement -- a voluntary agreement -- but it cannot be forced.'"
And two quick counterpoints to Coomes's argument:
· If a tip-sharing policy is voluntary, however, should a server be fired for not following it?
· And everyone else doing something isn't much of a defense—any kid who's advanced past kindergarten learned that lesson.
[Photo: Facebook/Lynn's Paradise Cafe]
·Life in Paradise (p. 58) [Louisville Magazine]
·Lynn's Paradise Cafe holds annual New Year's Pajama Party [WAVE 3]