Was It Appropriate for Philadelphia Restaurateur to “Tip Shame” LeSean McCoy?

Our New York wage and hour attorneys are not ones to shy away from fights over tip pool violations. Critics have called our own Maimon Kirschenbaum the “scourge” of restaurant owners for his relentless advocacy on behalf of waiters, busboys and other tipped employees.

But where do you draw the line when it comes to “standing up” against unfair treatment of tipped employees?

A viral news item out of nearby Philadelphia has provoked an impassioned conversation in the blogosphere about what exactly constitutes a “fair” tip and about how and when “unfair tipping” should be punished.

The drama all started after Tommy Up, the owner of popular Philadelphia restaurant called PYT, posted a receipt from one of his patrons to Facebook. The receipt belonged to none other than Eagle’s famous running back, LeSean McCoy.

Per Up, McCoy left just a 20 cent tip on $61.56 bill.

The restaurant owner took responsibility for posting the receipt on Facebook – it was his decision, not the waiter’s. He told local papers: “I decided to take action after some serious thought. And while I would like to apologize to Mr. McCoy, I cannot on good conscious do so. I stand by my actions 100%.”

The owner said that the football star entered the restaurant with several friends and that McCoy had been rude to the server and had made misogynist comments. Up said that the server had been excited to wait on McCoy and his friends but felt miffed after seeing the $0.20 tip. He put the situation bluntly: “Mr. McCoy had left 0.3% tip for our staff. Our staff was beyond excited to see him walk into our burger joint and was excited to serve him. That’s $0.20 on a tab of over $60. $0.20 that our server had to split with the food vendor and the bartender. Two dimes from an insulting multimillionaire.”

Tipped employees in Philly earn less than $3 an hour; they make the rest of their money on tips.

But is it fair to “out” a bad tipper on Facebook?

Some people have sided with Up, calling McCoy’s decision to leave the miniscule tip “deplorable.” But others had harsh words for Up for making the conversation so public and for “attacking” one of the city’s most visible football icons.

The bottom line is that there are good ways to respond to tip pool violations and there are not so good ways. Fortunately, the team here at Joseph & Kirschenbaum has the experience, qualifications and track record to assist with your wage and hour case. Please get in touch with us today at 1 (212) 688-5640 or info@jhllp.com to schedule a free consultation to figure out what you can do to achieve justice and fair compensation in your matter.