Catering workers rally against state Sen. Martins' proposed 'gratuities' law

Long Island catering hall workers protested today outside state Sen. Jack Martins' Garden City Park office. Martins is sponsoring a bill that would forbid catering

Long Island catering hall workers protested outside state Sen. Jack Martins' Garden City Park office.

Long Island catering hall workers protested outside state Sen. Jack Martins' Garden City Park office. (5/28/13)

GARDEN CITY PARK - Catering hall workers say a proposed law essentially allows their employers to steal their tips.

Long Island catering hall workers protested today outside state Sen. Jack Martins' Garden City Park office. Martins is sponsoring a bill that would forbid catering businesses from pocketing tips but would also protect those businesses from lawsuits already filed by workers trying to recover lost money.

Martins maintains that his bill would help workers because it'll better clarify the difference between “service” and “gratuity.” The bill would force catering halls to make it clear to consumers when a charge labeled as "service fee" will not be given to workers.

Still, these workers say owners should never be allowed to keep service fees.

A similar bill passed the Senate last year, but died in the Assembly.

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