Case Study 1: Massachusetts Tips Act Violation

Attorney Ben Steffans secures sizable settlement for group of employees for lost tips and service charges

In 2016, a Berkshire County resident approached Attorney Ben Steffans with facts that he felt violated the Massachusetts Tips Act. This individual’s employer was based in Berkshire County and owned a service business. According to the individual, the owners of the entity were diverting tips and service charges away from the employees that actually performed the service work and keeping it for themselves.  These employees waited directly on customers, ran food, served drinks, and bussed tables. As a result, they were entitled to be the recipients of the service charges and tips the employer received relative to their work.

Ben Steffans quickly identified the problem with this, namely that owners and managers are not allowed to receive tips or service charges and that, instead, tips and service charges are solely for the wait staff, service employees, and/or service bartenders.

Not surprisingly, this unlawful activity resulted in many service employees losing their tips; not just the individual who initially approached Steffans. The suit was filed inside of a month on behalf of nine individuals. The employer realized they had it wrong and, after putting up an initial fight, agreed to settle the case for a significant sum that it required be kept confidential. That initial individual used his sum to buy a piece of investment property and is now a successful landlord.

Are you an employee based in Pittsfield, Lowell, Worcester, Springfield, New Bedford, Fall River or the Cape?  Do you receive tips or service charges as part of your employment?  Do you think you are not receiving your fair share of those tips or charges? Contact Steffans Legal today for a free consultation