In July 2015, three bartenders and servers filed a complaint in state court against Elmira Country Club. Plaintiffs allege that Elmira County Club adds a service charge to all food and beverage orders and that Defendants keep the service charge and do not pass the money along to the staff. Although restaurants may impose service charges, the New York Department of Labor has specific guidelines as to when such service charges are considered gratuities and must be paid to staff. The Complaint asserts that Elmira Country Club did not inform patrons that the service charge was not a gratuity and that patrons therefore reasonably believe that the service charge functioned as a gratuity that would be passed along to staff.
This case is still in the early stages of litigation. If you worked for Elmira Country Club or have any questions about service charges, or if you are interested in learning more about this matter, please contact our office at (212) 385-9700 or by an e-mail inquiry through our website.