By Pat Loeb
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – More than a dozen waitstaff and bartenders have signed onto an unfair labor practices lawsuit against Chickie’s and Pete’s. They’ve also added some new complaints about the way the chain treats its servers.
From a lone bartender at the airport Chickie’s and Pete’s, the suit has grown to include 15 plaintiffs at all major locations and the complaints are not only “tip-skimming,” in which servers paid a percentage of their tips to the owner, but also unpaid overtime and the forced purchases of Chickie’s and Pete’s t-shirts and Shark vacuum cleaners.
The suit says the chain provided brooms, but wouldn’t let server leave unless carpeted areas were cleaned too.
Attorney Lou Pechman, who’s filed a number of labor suits, says he expects more employees to join.
“We want to make sure every employee who has a legitimate claim receives 100 percent of the back pay they are owed,” he said.
Chickie’s and Pete’s spokesman Kevin Feeley says the owner, Pete Ciarrocchi, is conducting a review of the charges in the suit.
“If it turns out that there are changes that need to be made, he has said from the start that we’ll do what we have to do to treat our employees fairly,” Feeley said.
The department of Labor is also investigating.