Tacking a 15 or 20 percent gratuity charge on a bill is a good way to ensure that your waitstaff isn't stiffed by stingy patrons. It turns out that it's also a way for management to pocket some extra cash while stiffing its waitstaff. Such practices have becoming increasingly common, or at least increasingly prosecuted. The Crowne Plaza Hotel in the Berkshires is now the latest establishment to agree to a massive class-action payout to current and former service employees.
Patrons at all the hotel's banquets are charged a 20 percent service fee. Under state law, only employees directly involved in the service of customers are entitled to that money. But according to the lawsuit, filed in November 2009, the Crowne Plaza kept a third of the tips, reports The Berkshire Eagle. The hotel has agreed to a $1.3 million settlement, but admits no wrongdoing.