A little-known regulation in Philadelphia has been gaining attention recently. The amendment to the Chapter 9-600 of the Philadelphia Code was passed to protect tips of hardworking restaurant servers. Up until then, it had been the norm for restaurants in the Philadelphia area to deduct part of the 2-4% credit card convenience fees from their employee’s tips or gratuities. Now, restaurants have to absorb those costs completely. The law also requires that affected servers have their tips and gratuities paid out by the “next regular payday” after the credit card payment was authorized.
If a restaurant does not comply with the new regulations, they can be fined up to $2,000 per violation and each instance of failing to make a timely payment of the full gratuity is considered a separate violation. An employee is entitled to file a lawsuit to collect any withheld amount, plus $2,000, and on top of that – any attorney’s fees and costs. Even though the restaurant industry in the area has been less than thrilled about this regulation, these deductions from server’s tips really add up and make a significant difference for those employees struggling to make ends meet.
Those working in restaurants know that the industry is often riddled with poor pay practices so these laws are always welcomed. If you have any questions about how your pay may be affected by this regulation or others, do not hesitate to call an employment lawyer for a consultation. Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP conveniently offers a free phone consultation and can help determine if you may have a claim for owed wages. Call us now at (212) 300-0375 or visit our website for additional information.