From labor disputes cases to labor and employment publications, for your research, you’ll find solutions on Bloomberg Law®. Protect your clients by developing strategies based on Litigation...
June 27 — A former waiter who was fired when he refused to participate in a tip-sharing arrangement he believed was illegal may proceed with his wrongful discharge lawsuit, a Minnesota appeals court ruled ( Burt v. Rackner, Inc. , 2016 BL 204606, Minn. Ct. App., No. A15-2045, 6/27/16 ).
The decision is a reminder that breaking tip-pool rules can expose an employer to lawsuits based on more than just wage-and-hour violations.
A lower court held that the Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act doesn't allow a lawsuit by someone who says he was fired for refusing to comply with an unlawful requirement. The June 27 Minnesota Court of Appeals decision revives Todd Burt's claim against Bunny’s Bar & Grill.
Burt said he was fired because he wouldn't share his tips with those who bus tables. The requirement to share violates an MFLSA provision against requiring employees “to contribute any or all of the gratuity to a fund or pool operated for the benefit of the employer or employees,” he said.
The MFLSA allows aggrieved workers to sue when their employer breaks the law. This right of action “broadly applies to any violation,” Judge John R. Rodenberg wrote for the court.
Allowing Burt to proceed against his former employer avoids a situation in which an employee who complies with a prohibited requirement may recover but someone who is fired for his refusal to go along with it “is just out of luck,” Rodenberg said.
“That position is inconsistent” with “any common-sense understanding of the legislature’s intention in broadly providing employees a civil remedy for MFLSA violations,” Rodenberg said.
Bassford Remele PA represented Burt. Arthur, Chapman, Kettering, Smetak & Pikala PA represented Bunny's.
To contact the reporter on this story: Jon Steingart in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Susan J. McGolrick at email@example.com
Text of the opinion is available at http://www.bloomberglaw.com/public/document/Todd_Burt_Appellant_vs_Rackner_Inc_dba_Bunnys_Bar__Grill_Responde.
Copyright © 2016 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)