Trump Sued For Stealing Servers' Tips, Has Achieved Peak Trump
While there have been many real-life occurrences we badly wish we could bet money on, "Donald Trump will one day be accused of stealing someone's tips" was at the top of our all time list. Sure enough, here we are.
As reported by DNAInfo's James Fanelli, on Feb. 13, 2015, a woman named Deborah Garcia filed a lawsuit in Suffolk County, New York against virtually everyone associated with Trump Soho, the Donald's luxury hotel in New York City -- including the Donald, his daughter Ivanka, and his son Donald Jr. -- for "unlawfully retaining employees' gratuities." In other words, stealing workers' tips.
Garcia worked as a banquet server at the hotel in 2013, and while she was paid an hourly wage, she did not receive tips.
"So what's the big deal?" you might be saying. "Maybe people just weren't tipping."
Except, they were. They were actually required to: Customers' bills included a mandatory 22 percent service fee, of which Garcia and the other workers never saw a damn dime. So while customers thought the employees were being tipped well, nah, the luckless servers were getting hosed.
"OK," you might be saying now, because you just have to be that fucking guy. "That's deceptive, douchey, and eminently Trumpesque, but it's not against the law. Garcia can't sue over it."
Except, SURPRISE! It is, and she can.
New York is one of the (sadly far too few) states that actually put some thought into its tip theft laws, so employers are not allowed to retain ANY portion of anything that remotely looks like a gratuity. They have to clearly state on both a menu and a bill when any service charge for a banquet or special function is not a tip or gratuity, in 12-point font (the fact that 12-point font is actually specified in the law warms the cockles of our blackened hearts). And as the lawsuit states, "reasonable patrons would have understood the Service Charge to be in the nature of a gratuity."
The Trump camp is claiming Garcia never worked directly for the hotel, but for a "third-party contractor," you wouldn't know her, she goes to another school:
"The lawsuit filed in 2015, is entirely a reflection of the responsibility of the third-party contractor. The plaintiff has never been a staff member of the Trump Soho Hotel. She was contracted by a third party but was never directly employed by Trump Soho Hotel."
They don't address which "third-party contractor" they're referring to, nor is it clear whether there ever was a third party involved in the hotel's catering operations. Do they mean Bayrock/Sapir Organization LLC, Trump's former partners in the doomed business venture who lost the hotel to foreclosure in 2014? Do they mean Donald Trump Jr.'s third-party testicle that we just made up? Who in the fuck are they talking about here? And does she live in Canada?
While the litigation is in its early stages, we hope Trump does what he claims is his M.O. and refuses to settle, and then loses all his money and is forced to live under the freeway with a sign that says "WILL ENGAGE IN RACIST DEMAGOGUERY FOR FOOD."
Look, just let us have this dream, all right?