Restaurant company accused of keeping more than $40K in tips

Federal officials have sued a company that they claim pocketed more than $40,000 in tips from employees at several restaurants it operates in New Jersey

Restaurant company accused of keeping more than $40K in tips

Restaurant company accused of keeping more than $40K in tips (10/6/15)

SADDLE BROOK - Federal officials have sued a company that they claim pocketed more than $40,000 in tips from employees at several restaurants it operates in New Jersey and New York.

The Department of Labor's lawsuit alleges that the Saddle Brook-based A.C.E. Restaurant Group required servers and bartenders to hand over a percentage of their tips to a pool. The lawsuit involves 17 Houlihan's restaurants, 15 of which are in New Jersey. A.C.E. operates Houlihan's in the area. 

The tip money was used to pay non-tipped workers, including kitchen staff and custodians, while management also kept some of the money.

The suit also claims the firm did not regularly pay overtime, didn't pay staff for all hours worked and routinely deducted money from paychecks to cover meals while still charging employees for the food.

The suit seeks reimbursement for 1,430 employees and an injunction halting more alleged labor law violations.

The restaurants in question are located throughout the state.

A company representative reached Tuesday said no one was available to comment.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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