Pennsylvania Empire Diner Pays $1.35 Million for Illegal Tipping

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A Philadelphia suburban restaurant must pay back $1.35 million in back wages and damages to more than 100 employees after it used tips from its waiters to pay the wages of its bussers, the Labor Department said Wednesday. .

Federal Judge Eduardo Robreno last month ruled that Empire Diner in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, “deliberately” violated labor laws and ordered it and two defendants — the owner and a manager — to pay $675,626.67 and an equal amount in damages to the afflicted. employees, totaling $1.35 million. Empire Diner said it plans to appeal the decision.

An investigation by the Department of Labor found that Empire Diner violated minimum wage, overtime and accounting laws. The main violation was circumventing tip credit requirements by using service staff tips to pay bus drivers’ wages, the Labor Department said.

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