ATX Cocina Taking of Waitstaff Tips FLSA Collective Action

When customers leave tips at a restaurant, those tips belong to the waitstaff. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the restaurant and its owners or managers are not permitted to take them for their own benefit or use. The complaint for this class action, however, alleges that the restaurant ATX Cocina, LLC took some or all of the tips customers left for the waitstaff.

The class for this collective action is all current and former employees of ATX Cocina, LLC who received tips from customers.

ATX Cocina is a Mexican restaurant in Austin, Texas.

Plaintiff Kevin Gordon worked for ATX Cocina as a waiter, from sometime in October of 2019 to sometime in August of 2020.

According to the complaint, the taking of tips was not happening when he first began work at the restaurant, but around May of 2020.

Gordon and his fellow members of the wait staff were employed as servers. They did not hold positions that would have made them exempt from the provisions of the FLSA. Their pay was figured on an hourly basis, and they were the federal paid minimum wage for the hours that they worked.

The complaint alleges that the restaurant “repeatedly and willfully violated 29 USC § 203(m)(2)(B) of the Fair Labor Standards Act by retaining a portion of the tips belonging to [Gordon] and all similarly situated employees.”

No details are given in the complaint as to how or why the tips were retained—for example, whether the restaurant never distributed tips that were included as part of a credit card payment for a meal, or whether someone actually removed bills and coins from a communal tip jar or from the tables where customers had left them.

According to the complaint, under the FLSA, the restaurant “is liable to [Gordon] and all members of the class for ‘all such tips unlawfully kept by the employer, and in addition equal amount as liquidated damages.’”

The complaint asks for declaratory or injunctive relief, presumably to stop the restaurant from continuing to take the employees’ tips.

In addition, the complaint asks the court for “their compensatory damages, service awards, attorneys’ fees and litigation expenses as provided by law;” “their pre-judgment, moratory interest as provided by law, should liquidated damages not be awarded;” and “liquidated damages and/or statutory penalties as provided by law…” Finally, it asks for “such other and further relief as the Court deems just and proper.”

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Employment

Most Recent Case Event

ATX Cocina Taking of Waitstaff Tips FLSA Complaint

February 18, 2021

When customers leave tips at a restaurant, those tips belong to the waitstaff. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the restaurant and its owners or managers are not permitted to take them for their own benefit or use. The complaint for this class action, however, alleges that the restaurant ATX Cocina, LLC took some or all of the tips customers left for the waitstaff.

ATX Cocina Taking of Waitstaff Tips FLSA Complaint

Case Event History

ATX Cocina Taking of Waitstaff Tips FLSA Complaint

February 18, 2021

When customers leave tips at a restaurant, those tips belong to the waitstaff. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the restaurant and its owners or managers are not permitted to take them for their own benefit or use. The complaint for this class action, however, alleges that the restaurant ATX Cocina, LLC took some or all of the tips customers left for the waitstaff.

ATX Cocina Taking of Waitstaff Tips FLSA Complaint
Tags: Employment Violations, Unpaid Tips