A new policy that cost one server her job at Lynn's Paradise Cafe may violate Kentucky state law.
In a Facebook post, Leila DiFazio wrote she "was terminated from Lynn's Paradise Cafe for not being able to bring in $100 cash for my shift. It is a new policy that started 1/2/13, stating that all food servers are required to carry $100 cash for each shift to use to tip out support staff (bussers and food runners)."
While Lynn's owner, Lynn Winter's wouldn't comment on the specifics of DiFazio's claim, she did verify the new policy, saying it was to ensure servers have "enough cash on hand to be able to tip the secondarily tipped people [buses, bartenders, foodrunners and expos] because I didn't want them to say 'I have no cash, I can't tip you today.'"
[UPDATE Jan. 12, 10:48 a.m. Lynn's Paradise Cafe has closed.]
As an anonymous Eater commenter pointed out, however, this policy appears to violate two sections of KRS 337.065:
·(1) No employer shall require an employee to remit to the employer any gratuity, or any portion thereof, except for the purpose of withholding amounts required by federal or state law.
·(3) No employer shall require an employee to participate in a tip pool whereby the employee is required to remit to the pool any gratuity, or any portion thereof, for distribution among employees of the employer.
When asked whether Lynn's policy violates that law, a representative at Jefferson County Attorney Mike O'Connell's office said they'd only get involved in restaurant-witholding issues involving taxes or violations of local law. A voice mail message was left at 11:40 a.m. with Shelley Johnson, deputy communications director at Kentucky's Office of the Attorney General. Updates to the story as we get 'em...
UPDATE Jan. 12, 2:15 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.'"
[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]