Roldan Monzon, a bus boy at Dovetail, a posh Manhattan eaters owned by renowned chef John Frasier, is suing his employer for forcing tip-earning workers to pool their cash and share it with other workers including bartenders, food runners and assistant managers.
"It makes me angry. A lot of money they have taken from me," Monzon, 37, told the New York Daily News. "But I don't have a lot of options."
In addition to the tip pooling, Monzon's lawsuit, filed in federal district court in Brooklyn, charges gratuity-based earners are forced to do excessive "side work" that should be performed by employees making at least minimum wage.
Frequently, tip-earning restaurant workers only make about $5 per hour, which is below the minimum wage, because the gratuity is factored into their pay. Monzon's lawsuit contends tip earners are forced to wash windows, fold napkins, take out trash and vacuum the dining room, Monzon's lawyer Brian Schaffer said.
"This is just a way for the restaurant to lower its payroll on the backs on its workers," Schaffer said.
Dovetail recently made headlines for being slapped with a 'C' grade on its most recent health department inspection, with more than 30 items listed as problematic. The restaurant is appealing the decision.