Lawsuit filed against Hyatt

Hyatt Hotels Corp., sued for unpaid gratuities and overtime wages in Pennsylvania. Nancy Livi of Philadelphia, the lead plaintiff, worked as banquet server at Hyatt at the Bellevue for nearly thirty years.

Livi alleged that the information related to the handling of gratuity fees and service charges especially how much to be paid to the employees was suppressed by Hyatt.

Further, it was claimed that the federal and state laws and regulations were violated by the Hyatt by failing to count the gratuities as part of the hourly wage of the servers for the purposes of calculating overtime and also that the employees received less overtime pay.

Marc Goldich, the attorney for plaintiff and the banquet staff punitive class, stated that, “Our concern is for Ms. Livi and everyone who works as a banquet server to be protected from unlawful hotel practices that cause them significant financial harm”.

In Burke v. Mesta Mach. Co., 5 F.R.D. 134 (1946), the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania stated that, it is the obligation of each plaintiff to establish that he is entitled to the benefits of the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C.S. § 216(b), and that he has not received them. That the defendant was engaged in the production of materials sold in other states, or engaged in interstate commerce, that each plaintiff performed work, which consisted of the production of goods for interstate commerce, and that while engaged in the performance of work which produced materials used in interstate commerce, said plaintiff has been required to work overtime hours and has been denied his proper overtime pay.

In Williams v. Jacksonville Terminal Co., 315 U.S. 386 (1942), it was stated that under Section 6 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, codified at 29 U.S.C.S. § 206, requires every employer to pay each employee engaged in interstate commerce wages at the prescribed rates per hour. Violation of that requirement renders the employer liable for the unpaid wages and for liquidated damages, recoverable in an action by the employee's designated agent or representative.

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