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Dish Washer Tees Off Against TopGolf in Class Action Over Illegal Tip Pool

An individual who worked for driving range and restaurant TopGolf in Arizona as a “mucker” (dishwasher) has filed a proposed class action that alleges he and other employees were not paid mandatory minimum and overtime wages as the result of an illegal tip pool from which the defendants allegedly shared proposed class members’—servers, bussers, bartenders, bar backs, food runners, waitresses—tips with non-tipped employees. 

According to the complaint, the defendants—TopGolf USA Riverwalk, LLC, TopGolf USA Golbert, LLC, and TopGolf International, Inc.—require muckers, who almost never receive tips from customers, to participate in a tip pool in which employees in customer-facing positions contribute a portion of their tips.

“In other words, [the defendants] use the tips of customer-facing employees to subsidize the wages of back of the house employees that are essentially dishwashers,” the case reads. 

The plaintiff, who worked for the defendants as a mucker from July 2015 through April 2017, argues he and similarly situated back-of-the-house workers were paid less than the hourly minimum wage required under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Arizona Minimum Wage Act. Additionally, the defendants allegedly failed to notify proposed class members in writing for each pay period that a tip credit was being taken on their wages.

The class proposed by the litigation includes anyone who was or is employed by TopGolf and required to participate in a tip pool within the last three years. The case also proposes to cover a second class of individuals who worked for the defendants specifically in Arizona at any time within the last three years who were required to take part in a tip pool.

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