Restaurants fined for taking $2 an hour in tips from employees

Posted at 5:33 PM, Feb 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-16 20:49:06-05

KALAMAZOO, Mich. – Owners of two southwestern Michigan restaurants have been fined for making their employees pay the restaurant $2/hour from their tips.

John and Peter Philis have been ordered by a federal judge to pay $245,000 in back wages and damages to 118 employees of Sophia’s House of Pancakes in Kalamazoo and Benton Harbor. Peter Philis was also found to have discriminated against the server who reported the violations to the Labor Department.

The owners were also penalized for failing to pay servers for time spent working before and after their scheduled shifts, taking deductions from employee’s pay for uniforms and incorrect orders and failing to accurately record daily and weekly work hours and earnings.  They were also accused of paying kitchen staff flat salaries without regard to how many house they worked and did not pay overtime.

The restaurants are also being required to upgrade their record keeping system and reports to employees.