MARBLEHEAD – A judge on Thursday approved a $ 64,500 settlement in a class action lawsuit on behalf of waiters and bartenders at Tedesco Country Club, who alleged owners were withholding money that some members “reciprocated” “might have thought to be tips.
The 2019 lawsuit was brought by a Marblehead club server Nicole Curcis, who alleged that reciprocal club members (those who belonged to other clubs but had privileges at Tedesco by agreement) had received fees from 20% service on their food and drink bill. .
With no notice required on the invoice to inform customers that the service charge did not include a tip, the lawsuit alleged that many reciprocal members assumed the service charge covered the tip.
His lawyers, Nicholas Ortiz and Raven Moeslinger, convinced the court to treat the case as a class action lawsuit.
The club and its owners contested the request.
But according to the settlement, the two sides began discussing a resolution of the case without going to trial, resulting in costs and risks for both sides.
Salem Superior Court Judge Thomas Drechsler on Thursday granted final approval of the settlement, which provides for 47 current and former club employees who worked there between October 3, 2016 and December 18, 2019 to receive compensation. The amount each employee will receive will be based on their hours and schedules.
Lisa Burton, a lawyer for the club, did not respond to a request for comment on Friday.
Tedesco is far from the first company employing tip workers to run into service charge and tip policy issues.
In 2008, the luxury spa Canyon Ranch in Lenox in Massachusetts settled a lawsuit for $ 14.75 million. The lawsuit accused the spa of collecting an 18% service charge, which was allegedly tricked into believing customers included all tips. This spa employed hundreds of workers who relied on tips.
Companies that employ tip workers, who are paid less than the standard minimum wage, are now required to put a notice on their invoice if the service charge does not include tips.
Court reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at @SNJulieManganis.