Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. settled a class action brought on behalf of waiters who worked at banquet functions at hotels that were opened or operated by Starwood and Pyramid Advisors LLC. The case alleged that Starwood retained banquet charges that customers reasonably believed were service charges (instead of distributing them to the banquet waitstaff). Plaintiffs also asserted that individuals who were not eligible to participate in service charge distributions received service charges and that Starwood did not comply minimum wage requirements.
The settlement in Malinski v. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. was approved by Judge Rya Zobel, United States District Court Judge for the District of Massachusetts, on October 13, 2010. Court papers said that the settlement funds will be distributed to 791 banquet waitstaff employees who worked at 14 different hotels.