When Sushi Yasuda adopted a no-tipping policy last year, many cheered the higher employee wages promised by the receipt: “Sushi Yasuda’s service staff are fully compensated by their salary. Therefore gratuities are not accepted.” Turns out that move was made on the heels of a wage-and-hour lawsuit filed by current and ex employees who, back in December 2012, accused the restaurant of withholding tips, overtime, and training wages. Now Law 360 reports that Yasuda has agreed to settle the suit for $2.4 million; any front-of-house staff employed for more than 90 days between December 2006 and when the no-tip policy went into effect is eligible.
During this period, employees alleged they had to turn over “several hundreds of dollars” of tips each night. Co-owner Scott Rosenberg says there was no wrongdoing and Yasuda “has always paid the same, good wages to its staff and followed the spirit of the law,” but some disagree. As Jason Campbell, a labor and employment lawyer, explains, “That they settled for $2.4 million means their real liability was way higher.”