Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Charleston Restaurant

CHARLESTON, SC (WLTX) -- 15 current and former employees have filed a class action lawsuit against a popular Charleston restaurant over alleged violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

The lawsuit filed July 3rd against Hyman's Seafood Company alleges the restaurant takes $5 at the end of the night from each server for a tip pool, and from that pool a dollar is paid to the main dishwasher, and another to the salad prep person.

Charleston CBS affiliate WCSC reported Tuesday afternoon that the lawsuit against Hyman's Seafood owners allege that portions of the $5 taken from each server is paid to the owners, for "breakage," reportedly to cover broken dishes and lost silverware.

According to Federal Labor Regulations, a tip pool is valid only when shared among those dealing directly with customers, like the serving staff, table bussers, and bar tenders. It specifically excludes employees who normally do not receive gratuity, such as kitchen or cleaning staff. The suit claims the restaurant's policy to distribute tip funds to non-tipped employees.

The owners of Hyman's Seafood has until July 31st to respond to the class action.


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