Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to clarify the company’s trading name.
NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) — A former server is suing a Grand Strand restaurant, claiming he was required to do untipped work without being paid at least minimum wage.
The 12-page lawsuit against Lulu’s Myrtle Beach LLC, doing business as Lulu’s North Myrtle Beach, filed earlier this month, claims servers and bartenders are paid below minimum wage “as part of a illegal tip credit scheme and a tip pooling scheme in violation of the SCPWA. In addition, defendants failed to pay servers and/or bartenders their lawfully owed overtime.”
The employee featured on the lawsuit, Katie Burdick, was employed from June 2018 until last August as a waiter and waiter captain. Burdick claims she was paid an hour less than minimum wage by taking a “tip credit”, where she performed untipped work beyond what is legally allowed. Burdick claims she worked overtime from May until Labor Day, but was not paid for it.
Restaurant policy requires employees to tip into a mandatory tip pool, according to the lawsuit. They had to do jobs without tipping, such as cleaning or working in the kitchen, while being paid with tips. The policy also called for employees to purchase T-shirts from Lulu.
“Defendants had a policy that required Plaintiff, and based on information and belief, all putative Class Members, to perform work without tipping, including, but not limited to, work in the cooking ‘Lulu’ or performing untipped tasks such as deep cleaning while paying the applicant and other putative class members in the same situation less than minimum wage,” reads the trial.