Six Green Iguana servers and bartenders have filed a class-action lawsuit against the restaurant chain claiming "hundreds if not thousands" of workers were shortchanged by minimum wage violations.
Restaurants that let their service workers keep tip money can pay them a reduced minimum wage. But the restaurants must guarantee in the form of a tip credit that the workers get the minimum wage when their tip income comes in too low. At Green Iguana the guarantee is $3.02, and servers and bartenders share in a tip pool split up with other workers not entitled to it.
The lawsuit filed in Pinellas County Circuit Court alleges Green Iguana illegally deducts routine business expenses like uniforms, missing silverware and the bills of customers who leave without paying from the tip pool and tip credit.
"We think they've been doing it at least five years, so damages could run in the millions," said Clearwater lawyer Ryan Barack. Green Iguana lawyer Todd Aidman said the company "does not comment on active litigation."