PHILADELPHIA, PA – Sheller, PC and Donovan Axler, LLC filed a class and collective action against Hyatt Hotels Corporation in Pennsylvania on behalf of current and former employees for allegedly unpaid gratuities and overtime wages.
The plaintiff, Nancy Livi of Philadelphia, dedicated nearly 30 years to her job as a banquet server at the Hyatt at the Bellevue, serving food and drinks at banquet events. Despite plaintiff’s requests for clarifications regarding the hotel’s pay practices, the Bellevue withheld such information.
According to the lawsuit, Hyatt hotels in Pennsylvania systematically failed to pay overtime wages and gratuities to their banquet servers by intentionally retaining a portion of a mandatory “gratuity fee” or “service charge” (customarily 21%) imposed on banquet event customer contracts. Under Pennsylvania and Philadelphia laws, such fees need to be paid to employees.
Hyatt hotels also violated U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), U.S. Internal Revenue (IRS), the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act and the Philadelphia Administrative Code regulations by allegedly failing to count the gratuities as part of the hourly wage for purposes of calculating overtime resulting in less than the required time-and-a-half pay for overtime.
“Our concern is for Ms. Livi and everyone who works as a banquet server to be protected from unlawful hotel practices that cause them significant financial harm,” says Marc Goldich, who represents the plaintiff and the banquet staff punitive class.
The case is Nancy Livi v. Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Hyatt Corporation d/b/a Hyatt at the Bellevue, Bellevue, Inc., and Bellevue Associates.