They call it a "titillating" work environment, and they are not complaining, but short "Hooters Girls" of their tips and you may have a law suit on your hands. That is what one of the restaurant's California chains is now finding out.
The Bay City News is reporting that eight former Hooters employees filed a class action lawsuit Thursday alleging that four restaurants in California's Bay Area violated state employment regulations, and that owners and managers concocted "an illegal scheme to convert and steal portions of the tip pools of the waitresses."
The City New also reports that while diverted tip pool money is legally required to be given those who help waitresses, such as busboys and bartenders, Hooters gave this money to senior management and restaurant owners, according to the lawsuit. Hooters aggrieved called the diverted money a "slush fund," and, if true, the fund padded the pockets of those who needed it least.
The suit also alleges that the four restaurants in the chain illegally required employees to buy and maintain their uniforms, failed to provide required breaks, and failed to pay other wages beyond tips earned.
The suit only names the local franchisee, Hott Wings Inc. of Modesto, and does not go after Hooters of America, which is based in Atlanta.
The plaintiff's attorney, Burton Boltuch, said in a press conference yesterday that the suit refers to the "titillating" work environment at Hooters, where waitresses are required to wear revealing outfits, but added, they are not alleging sexual harassment or "attacking" the work culture in the suit.