"Where’d everyone go? I’m going to be in so much trouble for this…"Photo: Yun Cee Ng
Two more waiters have crumbled up their aprons and decided they’re not going to take it anymore. Maimon Kirschenbaum, the lawyer last seen suing Heartland Brewery for shaving time off punch-card records and failing to cough up overtime (he says ten servers are now onboard with the complaint including a former manager) is now going after both Radiante, which owns City Hall (according to the suit, six-year server Mohammed Uddin was paid straight time instead of overtime), and B.B. King Blues Club & Grill. Kirschenbaum filed the latter suit yesterday; as he has it, server Brandon Salus was singing the blues at B.B. King’s after walkouts were deducted from his paycheck, a violation of Section 193 of the New York Labor Law. In one instance a $240 dine-and-ditch allegedly reduced the server’s weekly pay to $20.
A B.B. King Blues Club rep had no comment, but a current server at the club who didn’t want to be named confirmed that waiters are routinely forced to pick up tabs as high as $300. Ironically, one colleague was charged $100 because a table walked out while he was chasing down another set of dashing diners. In such cases, our source said, waiters will informally chip in to help the person whose pay has been docked. “They run the business very militantly,” our informant said of his bosses. “That’s why we have a high turnover rate.” The place better hope Attorney Kirschenbaum doesn’t get the numbers of all those disgruntled ex-employees. Though it’s apparently easy for diners to dodge steep bills, there’s no fleeing justice.