by Michael J. Shapiro | October 05, 2015
A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of current and former employees against Hyatt Hotels Corp., alleging unpaid gratuities and overtime wages in Pennsylvania. The suit names Nancy Livi of Philadelphia as the lead plantiff. Livi worked for nearly 30 years as a banquet server at the Hyatt at the Bellevue; she alleges the hotel withheld information regarding its handling of gratuity fees and service charges, specifically how much was paid directly to employees. According to a press release about the lawsuit from Sheller, P.C., Donovan Axler LLC, Pennsylvania and Philadelphia laws stipulate that all such fees be paid to employees.

The suit also claims that Hyatt violated federal and state laws and regulations by failing to count the gratuities as part of the hourly wage of the servers for the purposes of calculating overtime. According to the lawsuit, that resulted in less overtime pay than the employees should have received.

"Our concern is for Ms. Livi and everyone who works as a banquet server to be protected from unlawful hotel practices that cause them significant financial harm," said Marc Goldich, the attorney who represents the plaintiff and the banquet staff punitive class.

A Hyatt spokesperson would not comment on the case specifically, but said that typically the lodging company does not comment on matters concerning litigation.