Have you seen the epic meltdown on Chef Gordon Ramsey's show "Kitchen Nightmares" feating Amy's Baking Company? This is quite possibly the greatest public relations failure by a small business that I've ever witnessed. As a wage and hour lawyer, however, I was particularly amazed by the scene where owner Samy Bouzaglo greedily pockets his waitress's tip. Keeping employee tips is a violation of wage and hour law. It doesn't matter than you pay them $8 an hour. Amy's Baking Company was foolish enough to do it with the cameras rolling.
"A tip is the sole property of the tipped employee regardless of whether the employer takes atip credit. The FLSA prohibits any arrangement between the employer and the tipped employee whereby anypart of the tip received becomesthe property of the employer. For example, even where a tipped employeereceives at least $7.25 per hour in wages directly from the employer, the employee may not be required to turnover his or her tips to the employer."U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (Revised March 2011) Fact Sheet #15: Tipped Employees U nder the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
California law also provides that tips belong to the employees who earned them.Labor Code § 351.
Unfortunately, Samy and Amy Bouzaglo of Amy's Baking Company operate in Scottsdale, Arizona. So we can't represent their employees. That bums us out a bit. We'd even do it pro bono.
To watch the owner steal his workers' tips, just watch here. At 6:12, a customer leaves a $10 tip and Samy pockets it unapologetically and then brags about being a gangster.
He may not just be popping off about the gangster stuff, either. Amy Bouzaglo, fka Amanda Patricia Bossingham, has a felony record.