A former waiter for the filed a class action lawsuit in Nassau County State Supreme Court on Thursday accusing the upscale establishment of withholding gratuity wages from its catering staff, according to the plaintiff’s lawyers.
The hotel did not know anything about the complaint as of Friday afternoon, according to their attorney, Kathleen Deegan Dickson.
The suit was filed by Brahim Chhab, who was employed by the hotel between July 2008 and October 2011. It alleges that he and more than 50 former and current employees who are potential members of the class never received tips collected as a 20 percent gratuity charged to customers on service bills.
“The practice used at the Glen Cove Mansion is not uncommon. Many catering halls, country clubs and restaurants add a service charge or gratuity to the bill but do not pass on these gratuities or tips to the wait staff,” said a statement from Jeffrey Brown, a partner at one of two firms handling the case, Leeds, Morelli & Brown of Carle Place. “It’s almost blatant when establishments call it a ‘gratuity’ in black and white, yet give none of those tips to the staff. They are just waiting for a lawsuit to happen.”
The firm noted a similar suit filed earlier this month against Morrell Caterers of Woodbury, as well as several others it said were filed last year against catering businesses throughout Long Island.
“The public has taken an interest in these types of cases,” Brown said in the statement. “Workers see these types of cases on the news and think, ‘That’s me. I worked hard for all those years and didn’t receive any tips.’”
“Now is the opportunity for so many workers to step forward and give a voice to all those concerns they had for a long time,” added attorney Len Leeds. “People will see these courageous workers stepping forward and this won’t be the last of these types of cases to be filed.”
The firm said there is plenty of legal precedent in favor of the idea that if a “reasonable patron” thinks the gratuity is going to the wait staff then it should, citing the recently enacted New York Wage Theft Prevention Act and recent state and federal court decisions.
The hotel’s management did not return calls for comment by the time of this article’s publication.
The plaintiff is also being represented by Virginia & Ambinder, a Manhattan law firm.
Dickson said she did not expect to represent the hotel in this case.