For Restaurants, More Lawsuits on the Menu

May 8, 2011 – In The News
Crain's New York Business

Agrowing number of New York restaurants are being sued for improperly paying employees. The number of suits have grown so rapidly that they have helped influence the New York Department of Labor's new Hospitality Wage Order, which went into effect in January and requires restaurants to keep extensive records of their employees' pay, including tips.

Restaurants are easy targets, since many are not paying their workers properly. This is partly because there were ambiguities in the law, according to attorney Carolyn Richmond who represents many restaurant owners.

Many attorneys who defend restaurant owners say the increase of lawsuitsis mostly fueled by a gold-rush mentality.

"You see the plaintiffs' bar tripping over themselves to file the same case," said Richmond. "From our perspective, it's a scam."