The owners of Amy’s Baking Company could find themselves in legal trouble after it was revealed that they keep tips given to servers.
The owners, Samy and Amy Bouzaglo, admitted on an episode of “Kitchen nightmares” that they pay their servers between $8 and $14 per hour instead of using the standard tip-based pay system used in most restaurants.
In an email, a representative from the Department of Labor said the Bouzaglos could be in violation of the law.
“DOL regulations make clear that under the Fair Labor Standards Act tips are the property of the employee whether or not the employer has taken a tip credit,” said Deanne Amaden in an email. “An employer is prohibited from using an employee’s tips, whether or not it has taken a tip credit, for any reason other than as a partial credit against its minimum wage obligation to the employee or in furtherance of a valid tip pool (i.e., a pool including only customarily and regularly tipped employees).”
Amaden said the department would need more information about the situation to make a clear decision. She would not comment on if her agency is investigating the Bouzaglos.
Amy’s Baking Company came under fire this week after numerous postings on its Facebook page caught the eye of the Internet. The Bouzaglos have since claimed their social media sites were hacked and have filed a complaint with police.
The restaurant is hosting a reopening Tuesday night.