News Brief

US Department of Labor recovers $72K from coffee shop operators who operated illegal tip pool, withheld 34 employees’ tips in Louisville

Employers:    Wiltshire Pantry Inc., 1310 East Breckinridge St., Louisville, KY 40204

Wiltshire Bakery and Café Highlands, 901 Barret Ave., Louisville, KY 40204

Wiltshire Bakery and Café Downtown, 605 W. Main St., Louisville, KY 40202

Wiltshire At The Speed, 2035 S. Third St., Louisville, KY 40208

Investigation findings: U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigators found the operator of four Louisville coffee shops permitted two managers to take a portion of servers’ tips. Provisions in the Fair Labor Standards Act forbid employers, managers or supervisors from participating in a tip pool.

Back Wages and Liquidated Damages Recovered: $72,564 to 34 workers.

Quote: “Under no circumstance may employers or supervisors participate in a tip pool,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Karen Garnett-Civils in Louisville, Kentucky. “The Fair Labor Standards Act prohibits managers and supervisors from keeping any portion of an employee’s tips for any purpose. Employers who have questions about their legal responsibilities should view the free resources on the Wage and Hour Division’s website or contact our staff for answers.” 

Background: Primarily a catering and event company, Wiltshire Pantry operates three other limited-service coffee shop and bakery locations in the Louisville area. This follows investigations of three other Louisville coffee shops – Please & Thank You LLC, Sunergos Coffee Ltd. Co. LLC and Heine Brothers – where agency investigators found employers illegally shared employee tips with managers. 

Employers can contact the Wage and Hour Division at its toll-free number, 866-4-US-WAGE. Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including the agency’s restaurants compliance assistance toolkit

Workers can call the Wage and Hour Division confidentially with questions and the department can speak with callers in more than 200 languages. Workers and employers alike can help ensure hours worked and pay are accurate by downloading the department’s Android Timesheet App for free, which is available in English and Spanish. 

Wage and Hour Division
October 31, 2023
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Media Contact: Erika Ruthman
Media Contact: Eric R. Lucero
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