Claimant had good cause to quit where tip pooling policy was unfair
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Thursday, October 3, 2019

Claimant had good cause to quit where tip pooling policy was unfair

By Payroll and Entitlements Editorial Staff

The claimant, a full-time server at a restaurant, quit her job because of her dissatisfaction with the restaurant's tip pooling policy. The restaurant took a portion of the wait staff's tips for the support staff but, according to the claimant, the employer continued to take a portion of those tips even when it did not have support staff, such as bussers or hosts, during a particular shift. The claimant relayed her concerns to a number of people up and down the line, asking where the money went when she had no help from support staff. In this instance, according to the court, the claimant provided clear justification and reasoning for her decision to leave her position as a server. In addition, as a matter of law, the claimant could reasonably leave her position based on her objections to the employer's enforcement of the tip pooling policy during shifts when other employees who customarily and regularly received tips were not working. A reasonable and prudent person in the claimant's position would likely leave his or her employment as a server when faced with the enforcement of the tip pooling policy during those shifts. As a result, the court reversed the ALJ's decision that the claimant did not have good cause to quit work and benefits were awarded (Sarah Parker v. McCormick & Schmick's Seafood, D.C. Ct. of App., No. 17-AA-1195, August 29, 2019).

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