Tipped Workers Sue Boatyard Grill to Recover Significant Unpaid Wages

Tipped workers of The Boatyard Grill have filed a collective and class action lawsuit against the Ithaca, NY based restaurant in order to recover significant wages. The lawsuit seeks to recover minimum wages, overtime compensation, unlawful deductions, uniform reimbursement, spread of hours pay, and other damages for similarly situated tipped workers under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and the New York Labor Law (“NYLL”). Affected employees include servers, runners, bussers, bartenders, barbacks who work or have worked at The Boatyard Grill located at 525 Taughannock Blvd., Ithaca, New York 14850. 

One of the main violations the lawsuit alleges is that tipped workers at the restaurant consistently spent more than two hours or 20% of their shift time performing non-tip producing side work duties without the proper pay. These duties included, but were not limited to: 1) cleaning and preparing kitchen equipment such as bread toasters, 2) cleaning the training room, 3) preparing butter sheet trays, 4) emptying garbage cans throughout the restaurant, 5) filling salad toppings into bus tubs and refilling salt, pepper, and salad dressing containers, 6) rolling silverware, 7) prepping the restaurant’s five posi- stations, which involves cleaning, restocking it with silverware, napkins, candles, to-go containers, and condiments; 8) preparing the fry station, which involves placing ice in the cooling bin and making sure that utensils are clean and available; 9) filling water pitchers, and 10) setting up and breaking down the restaurants’ indoor and outdoor tables, among other tasks. During this time, this non-tip producing side work was paid at the reduced minimum wage rate. The Boatyard Grill failed to pay these workers the full minimum wage rate and instead paid them at or below the “tipped” minimum wage rate for their time spent completing side work in violation of the FLSA and the NYLL. If a tipped worker is paid a reduced rate but is forced to complete significant amounts of prep work in which they cannot earn tips from they should be paid the higher full minimum wage rate during that time. 

Unfortunately, the restaurant industry continues to underpay itstipped workers in violation of state and federal labor laws. If you’ve worked for The Boatyard Grille recently and have questions about the claims above, feel free to call us at (212) 300-0375. Additionally, if you work in the industry and believe you’ve experienced similar issues at your place of employment, contact us for a free and confidential consultation over the phone at (212)300-0375. You can also view helpful information regarding your employment rights on our website here.

View the filed complaint here.