City’s waiters find job answers on new website

Many New Yorkers have, at one time or another, worked as a waiter one of the city’s 24,000 restaurants to pay the bills — and many have been stiffed by their employers.  

Sometimes, neither owners nor waiters understand the laws, so labor lawyer Louis Pechman last month launched the website WaiterPay.com outlining the complex array of rules.

“I would suspect more than half of the restaurants in New York City are either intentionally or unintentionally committing some violation of the wage and hour laws every day,” said Pechman, who has represented both sides of the industry, but gained notoriety for winning a $3.15 million settlement from Sparks Steakhouse for tip stealing.

If four-star restaurants are accused of stumbling over labor laws, “imagine what is going on in the smaller restaurants,” he said.

The Restaurant Opportunities Center is threatening to sue much-lauded Del Posto, which Mario Batali is part owner of, regarding tip misappropriation and other claims.

Batali’s rep did not respond for comment.

“Unfortunately, the labor laws in the restaurant industry tend to be complicated and a lot of honest, hardworking business owners tend to be compromised because of the complexities,” said Andrew Rigie, of the New York State Restaurant Workers Association.

Waiting on her due

A waitress who’s worked at a West Village cafe for five years — and asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation — said her boss pays her with a personal check for 20 hours a week, paying $2 an hour in cash for the rest of her hours.

“Because we were making more than $1,000 a week with tips, he assumed he didn’t need to pay us the [legal] $4.65,” she said. She’s helping Make the Road New York push for stiffer penalties for such practices.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…