Philippe Restaurant, an upscale Chinese restaurant owned by Philippe Chow, has been hit with a class action lawsuit alleging that the restaurant failed to pay servers at its New York City, East Hampton, Miami, and Los Angeles locations, the applicable minimum wage and overtime compensation, and also maintained an unlawful tip pool.
The Complaint against Philippe was filed in federal court in New York. The case alleges that restaurant management improperly forced servers to share their tips with non-tipped employees. Lawyers for the workers claim that servers at each Philippe location were required to pool their tips with managers as well as with expeditors who only performed duties in the kitchen and did not engage in direct customer service. The lawsuit also claims that restaurant management paid the waiters an hourly rate below the federal and state minimum wage for regular and overtime hours worked. Furthermore, the servers allege that their workdays often lasted more than ten hours, but they were not paid New York’s “spread of hours” premium for those days. The lawsuit seeks unpaid wages, liquidated damages, attorneys’ fees and costs.