Tips, Gratuities, and Service Charges

We pioneered litigation on behalf of tipped employees who have not received the total proceeds of tips and service charges paid by customers for their benefit. For more than 20 years, we have represented thousands of waitstaff in many dozens of lawsuits against restaurants, hotels, country clubs, catering companies, and other establishments that have failed to distribute, or have skimmed from, employee gratuities, or allowed these gratuities to be shared with ineligible employees (such as management or non-service employees).

We have won jury trials in several tips cases, as well as a number of ground-breaking appellate decisions, summary judgment orders, and settlements. Following our original work developing the law protecting tipped employees in Massachusetts, we have brought these cases around the country, including in Hawaii, Florida, New York, and California. In Hawaii, after two trips to the Hawaii Supreme Court, we established the right of waitstaff employees to recover under the wage laws for service charges not distributed in full to employees.

If you have worked as a service employee anywhere in the country, and have been required to share your tips with management or non-service employees, or have not received the total proceeds of service charges billed to customers, feel free to contact us for a consultation.

S.F.’s Moscone Center illegally kept servers’ tips, lawsuit alleges
San Francisco Chronicle | June, 2023

Is a dine-in service fee a tip? Former servers allege in suit they are owed gratuities from Jon and Vinny’s
Los Angeles Times | June, 2023

S.F. Marriott Hotel illegally kept $9 million in workers’ tips, judge says
San Francisco Chronicle | May, 2023

Calif. Supreme Court allows food servers to proceed with suit over ‘service charges’
San Francisco Chronicle | January, 2020

Hilton Hotel Accused of Swiping Staff Tips | April, 2017

Court revives SF hotel workers’ suit over tips
SF Gate | March, 2017

Four Seasons To Fork Over $4M To Settle Server Tips Suit
Law360 | October, 2013

Hawaii High Court OKs Worker Wage Suits Over State Tip Law
Law360 | July, 2013

Hawaii Supreme Court rules in favor of workers in hotel tip case
Star Advertiser | July, 2013

Tips Scams Revealed (video)
TEDxBeaconStreet | November, 2013

Starbucks restructures ‘shift supervisor’ position in Mass
Nation’s Restaurant News | January, 2013

Starbucks Workers Tips Suit Scores $14 Million Win Against Coffee Giant
The Huffington Post | November, 2012

Attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan: Challenging Corporate Power and Tips Abuse
Lawyers and Settlements | April, 2008

Logan skycaps win fight for tips
Boston Globe | April, 2008

Wave of tip pooling lawsuits snares more operators
Nation’s Restaurant News | October, 2006

Steak house may be liable for $2.5m Suit against Lynn may have wide effect
The Boston Globe | July, 2006