The Point Brugge Café, in Pittsburgh’s East End, must pay $37,719 to 39 workers that the U.S. Department of Labor says were stiffed by an illegal tip-pooling system.
According to DOL investigators, the café’s tip pool was used to compensate kitchen workers such as dishwashers—employees who do not traditionally work for tips. The tip pooling pulled waiters’ wages below the minimum wage.
The Fair Labor Standards Act () requires employers to pay tipped personnel at least $2.13 per hour. However, the pay and tips must add up to at least $7.50 per hour to be legal.
The café’s practice of deducting cash-drawer shortages from employees’ pay also violated the FLSA.
In addition to repaying the workers, the café must also change its pay practices and record-keeping systems.