Minnesota Supreme Court ruling is big victory for servers at bars and restaurants
|Tips are property of servers, not their employers, the court ruled.|
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The court ruled bars and restaurants cannot force employees to dip into their tips to compensate for shortages in the till created when customers walk out on a tab or don't sign their credit card receipt. The suit was originally brought in 2010 by a group of more than 750 Drink and Spin nightclub employees who said using tips to make up for till shortfalls was standard practice at their now-failed places of employment.
"This ruling deals with a practice that is sort of the dirty little secret of Twin Cities bars and restaurants -- where if the till's short, you've gotta pay if you want to keep your job," Steven Andrew Smith, an attorney representing the plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit, told the Star Tribune. "It sends the message that you can't do that."
Hennepin County District Court will now determine how much the aggrieved servers should be compensated. A jury who ruled on the case before it was appealed to the Supreme Court awarded $70,000 in damages to the plaintiffs, the Strib reports.
Somewhere, Tom Emmer weeps.
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