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Manhattan restaurateur to pay $15,000 for allegedly keeping tips meant for employees

By Mark Iandolo | Mar 19, 2016

NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) – Wallace Lai, the owner of two Manhattan restaurants, will pay $15,000 for alleged wage underpayments, New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced.

Lai formerly owned two Chinese food restaurants. Customers could order for delivery from these restaurants through the websites, and When customers paid online, they usually included a tip that should go toward the delivery person. According to the state’s charges, Lai kept tips for himself instead of giving them to his delivery workers.

“Delivery workers travel at all hours of the day and through all kinds of weather to provide food to customers who can order from their homes with the click of a button,” Schneiderman said. “It is outrageous that a business would cheat its workers and hoodwink customers by keeping tips that are meant for these hardworking employees.”

The $15,000 covers the full amount of tips that he allegedly kept from online customer orders. The money will go toward 10 former workers.

New York law bans employers from keeping tips meant for service employees.

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