A Hotel In Whistler Is Repaying Servers $85K In “Wrongfully Withheld Tips”

One person alone will be getting $3,000. 💸
Fairmont Chateau Whistler Has To Repay Servers $85K In “Wrongfully Withheld Tips”

People in the service industry often live off their tips due to working for minimum wage. For the most part, you are trusting the accountants and management staff to tip you out the appropriate amount. A press release was issued on Wednesday, January 29 which explained that a number of B.C. servers will be paid back thousands in tips from their employer, the Fairmont Chateau Whistler. In total, the hotel will be paying out $85,000 of tips that were "wrongfully withheld."

According to a press release by UFCW 1518, the Fairmont Chateau Whistler is voluntarily repaying $85,000 worth of gratuities that were kept from workers in the banquet serving department. 

The complaint about the withheld tips was originally filed with the United Food and Commercial Workers. 

The union has stated that the employees first contacted them in 2018 after the Fairmont management started using a new “tipping structure.”

This structure allowed for tips given to banquet workers to be taken from them and use to subsidize the wages of their managers. 

The employees did not turn to the union right away. 

The workers allegedly raised their concerns with management multiple times however, management refused to stop. 

“These workers tried in vain to address the issue themselves. But they couldn’t make the employer listen or obey the law. That’s when they called us,” said Patrick Johnson, Secretary-Treasurer of UFCW 1518, in the press release. 

Even though it is a large amount of money, Narcity was told over the phone by a spokesperson for UFCW that the money was taken from around 60 employees between May 30, 2019, and August 31, 2019. 

According to the union, the managers took about 20% of the tips the servers had earned and redistributed them to catering services and planning. 

From there, the tips were paid directly to catering sales managers. 

“Employer theft of gratuities is illegal thanks to changes made to the Employment Standards Act by the B.C. NDP last spring. British Columbia was the last province in Canada to provide legal protection for worker-earned gratuities,” writes the press release. 

Johnson has stated that withholding the tips had “real-life consequences for the workers” and the hotel faced no penalty for violating the standards. 

The union went on to state that this is the perfect example as to why unions are needed. 

The workers are now being paid out for their missed tips and according to CBC News, some workers will be getting close to $3,000. 

Kate Milberry with the union told CBC News that the Fairmont was not found guilty of violating the Employment Act. Instead, they volunteered to pay the money.  

Narcity has reached out to the Fairmont Chateau Whistler for comment and we will update this story when we receive a response.

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