The operating company that runs the Nakato Japanese Steakhouse in South Carolina is the defendant in a lawsuit filed by a former server who claims she was not paid proper wages.
The plaintiff worked for defendant Nakato SC, Inc. from September 2016 through April 2018, the suit says, and was required to contribute a portion of her tips from each shift into a tip pool. The defendant shared some of these tips with back-of-the-house employees who do not “customarily and regularly” receive tips, thereby invalidating the tip pool, according to the suit. Servers whose wages were subject to this tip pool should have received the full hourly minimum wage, the plaintiff argues, and not the reduced tip-credited wage per hour.
Per the lawsuit’s unpaid overtime count, the complaint claims the plaintiff routinely worked more than 40 hours per week yet was paid only $4.50 per hour, as opposed to the correct tip-credited overtime rate of $5.76 per hour.