Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Lazo v. Sodexo, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

November 6, 2017

TRACEY LAZO, JAMEN HARPER, MUSTAPHA JARRAF, NY'COLE YOUNG THOMAS, and all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
v.
SODEXO, INC., Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          GEORGE A. O'TOOLE, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Tracey Lazo, Jamen Harper, and Mustapha Jarraf have brought this putative class action against Sodexo, Inc., a company that contracts with various educational, health care, and business institutions to provide food related services and facilities management.[1] The plaintiffs allege that the defendant violated the Massachusetts Tips Act, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 149, § 152A, by retaining money collected from patrons as service charges, rather than remitting the monies to wait staff and service employees as the statute requires. After the parties conducted relevant discovery, the plaintiffs moved to certify a class of “[a]t least 604 Sodexo food and beverage wait staff and service employees working at thirty-five (35) Massachusetts Sodexo locations where [Sodexo] has imposed, and improperly retained, a ‘service charge, ' on patron food and beverage purchases.” (Pls.' Am. Mot. for Class Certification 1 (dkt. no. 61).) For the reasons set forth below, the plaintiffs' motion to certify a class is DENIED.

         I. Massachusetts Tips Act

         The Massachusetts Tips Act provides:

[i]f an employer or person submits a bill, invoice or charge to a patron or other person that imposes a service charge or tip, the total proceeds of that service charge or tip shall be remitted only to the wait staff employees, service employees, or service bartenders in proportion to the service provided by those employees.

Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 149, § 152A(d). The Act defines “service charge” as:

a fee charged by an employer to a patron in lieu of a tip to any wait staff employee, service employee, or service bartender, including any fee designated as a service charge, tip, gratuity, or a fee that a patron or other consumer would reasonably expect to be given to a wait staff employee, service employee, or service bartender in lieu of, or in addition to, a tip.

Id. § 152A(a). The statute however permits an employer to impose on a patron

any house or administrative fee in addition to or instead of a service charge or tip, if the employer provides a designation or written description of that house or administrative fee, which informs the patron that the fee does not represent a tip or service charge for wait staff employees, service employees, or service bartenders.

Id. § 152A(d).

         The purpose of the statute is to protect the wages and tips of the employees who fall within the scope of its protection. DiFiore v. Am. Airlines, Inc., 910 N.E.2d 889, 893 (Mass. 2009) (“The Legislature's intent in enacting the Act can be plainly discerned from its language and history- to ensure that service employees receive the tips, gratuities, and service charges that customers intend them to receive.”)

         II. Class Certification

         Rule 23(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure sets forth the following ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.