Documents Show Dinette Owner Illegally Took Tips from Employees
Pittsburgh—32BJ SEIU reacted to the revelation that 8th District Council candidate and restaurant owner, Sonja Finn has incurred over $50,000 in violations under federal wage and hour law. According to documentation from the Department of Labor, Finn, was cited for illegally diverting tips from 11 of her employees from June 2015 through June 2017, resulting in their earning less than the federal minimum wage of $7.25/hour.
The Fair Labor Standards Act requires tipped employees keep the tips they’ve earned.
The Department of Labor documentation notes that Finn “‘expressed significant concern over any possible bad press relating to improper pay practices. Mrs. Finn noted that she has participated in interviews with various media outlets as an outspoken proponent of raising the minimum wage and paying a living wage.’”
However, in September 2017, Finn’s attorney said her client refused to pay the wages back to her employees.
“Based on these documents, it is the height of hypocrisy to tout your record as a socially responsible business owner while literally stealing from your employees. As a union representing thousands of service workers in Pittsburgh, we know that the Department of Labor doesn’t hand out these kinds of violations without good reason,” said Sam Williamson, 32BJ SEIU Western Pennsylvania District Leader.
With 163,000 members in eleven states and Washington, D.C., including 22,000 in Pennsylvania, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country.