CLARKSBURG – A woman is suing PNG Charles Town Gaming in a class action lawsuit after she claims it wrongfully takes portions of the tip pool and puts it toward the employees’ paid time off.
Penn National Gaming was also named as a defendant in the suit.
Linda Barrick was employed by the casino beginning in May 2011, according to a complaint filed Nov. 8 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia.
Barrick claims the defendants require all dealers to participate in a tip pool that is set forth in a written contract that requires that any and all earned tips and gratuities be placed in a common pool for complete distribution pro rata for each respective day of the week among the dealers, with the distribution based upon the number of hours each dealer has worked for each respective day of the week.
Dealers submit all tips into the tip pool as per their contract and perform their job duties and responsibilities in reliance on their expectation that they will be fully compensated for their tips paid in, as required by the tip pool compensation policy contract mandating that there will be complete distribution based upon the numbers of hours each dealer has worked for each respective day of the week.
Dealers receive tips in varying amounts and the daily tip pool generates an average of $21.50 per hour per dealer, however, some days, the tip pool can generate an hourly wage of $60 to $70, according to the suit.
Barrick claims on days when the tip pool generates higher hourly wages, the defendants, at their discretion and without consultation with or notification to the dealers and in violation of the contract, remove some portion of the funds from the tip pool to finance payment of the dealers’ future paid time off, which, in turn, reduces the daily tip rate and overall daily hourly wage for the dealers working on those days.
The defendants have failed to inform the employees that they remove and retain tips from the tip pool in contravention of the tip pool compensation policy contract, which is a breach of contract, according to the suit.
Barrick claims the defendants violated the West Virginia Wage Payment Compensation Act.
The defendants also violated at the Fair Labor Standards Act , according to the suit.
Barrick is seeking compensatory damages. She is being represented by Garry G. Geffert; and Nicholas Woodfield, R. Scott Oswald and Andrew M. Witko of The Employment Law Group.
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia case number: 3:17-cv-00138