Highgate Hotels, Cove Haven accused of withholding tips

By Carrie Bradon | Feb 19, 2016

HARRISBURG – A woman is seeking compensation as part of a class-action lawsuit, alleging that her employer failed to distribute tips that she earned.

Chelsea Henkel, on behalf of herself and others similarly situated, filed a complaint on July 23 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania against Highgate Hotels LP and Cove Haven Inc., alleging violation of Fair Labor Standards Act, the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act, as well as breach of contract.

According to the claim, Henkel and the other plaintiffs in the class were employed by the defendants as cafe workers or in other positions. The suit states that though the plaintiffs should have received tips for their service, the defendant untruthfully told clients that there was an included gratuity, which would be distributed to the employees, however, the defendant failed to distribute those tips to the plaintiffs.

The plaintiffs seeks damages for all violations of legislation, an order that enjoins the defendant from such activities in the future, monetary damage awards for lost tips, attorneys' fees and other court costs. A jury trial is demanded, and they are represented by Matthew J. Blit of Levine & Blit PLLC in New York, New York.

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania Case number 3:15-cv-01435

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