Date: January 2, 2019

Law360 covered TELG client Linda Barrick's motion for partial summary judgment in her lawsuit against casino operator Penn National Gaming Inc., which she claims has been diverting dealers' tips into a fund that is improperly distributed — including to employees who were on leave when the tips were given. The fund isn't a valid tip pool under the Fair Labor Standards Act, Ms. Barrick says in her suit, which seeks collective-action status under the FLSA and also makes claims under West Virginia state wage laws.

"As far as we know, it's an issue of first impression in the country."

Nicholas Woodfield

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Casino Dealer Says Tip Pool Flouts FLSA In Quick Win Bid

A dealer at a West Virginia casino owned by Penn National Gaming Inc. has asked a federal judge for a quick win in her proposed class action challenging the facility’s tip pool policy, saying the approach is clearly invalid and employees deserve reimbursement.

Linda Barrick moved for partial summary judgment Monday in her suit against PNGI’s Hollywood Casino at Charlestown Races, contending the company flouts the Fair Labor Standards Act by using a pooled tip fund to cover paid time off payments that dealers may never receive.

The tips earned by dealers accrue in a pool that’s supposedly distributed according to the number of hours each employee works, but the casino also gives some of that money to workers on PTO, even though they aren’t working and thus, aren’t tipped employees under the FLSA, Barrick argued.

Making matters worse, the casino isn’t consistent about making these PTO payments to workers, she contended, alleging that dealers are arbitrarily denied their promised portion of the tip pool fund when the company decides they haven’t given enough notice of their leave.

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