Addendum: There’s a video for this story. Go to this link and click on “Dial Up/Broadband” at the top of the page to see the video. (Must have Real Player)
It seems the managers at Telepan, an eatery on the Upper West Side, are being accused of illegally helping themselves to the waiters tips. In addition to being accused of raiding the tip jar, the waiters who filed a complaint with the NY Department of Labor told the website NY1 that management took three percent out of their tips to pay for credit card charges. They also accuse the restaurant of rounding down their hourly wages on their paychecks. (Ah, the old rounding down the employees hourly wages scam. I know it well.) The waiters claim that when they complained to management they faced intimidation. They mess with your schedules, one waiter said. They mess with you on the floor.
The restaurant industry is rife with power mad restaurant managers and owners who think they can trample all over an employees rights. They count on public apathy towards unjust working conditions in restaurants to perpetuate this kind of abuse. If the charges leveled at Telepan turn out to be true, I hope the restaurants ownership implements immediate corrective action. If they dont, I hope their customers take their business elsewhere. According to NY1, calls for comment to the owner of Telepan have gone unreturned.
Telepan has a right to respond to the charges leveled against them. If they wish to contest their portrayal in the media and give their side story, Ill be happy to post it on this website.
Many thanks to NY1 for publishing this story.
7/31/07 Follow up story from NY1
In the late ’80s, I tended bar at a restaurant on the UWS called Sfuzzi. The manager took a percentage off the top of the staff’s pay-out. Someone reported it to the Department of Labor, and we all got MONSTER checks in reparation.
No one should ever let that shit go unchallenged.
The more I read about these things the happier I am to work in a mid-western family restaurant chain.