Chain Restaurant Company Wants Federal Tip Lawsuit Tossed

SADDLE BROOK, N.J. (AP) -

A company that runs several restaurants in New Jersey and New York says that it did not violate any laws by pooling tips after it was sued by federal regulators.

The Saddle Brook-based A.C.E. Restaurant Group that runs a chain of Houlihan’s restaurants is seeking to have the Department of Labor’s lawsuit thrown out.

It says that the federal government is attempting to impose “excessive new requirements” on the company.

Federal officials alleged that the company required servers and bartenders to hand over a percentage of their tips to a pool. That money was used to pay non-tipped workers, including kitchen staff and custodians, while management also kept some.

The suit seeking reimbursement also claims the firm did not regularly pay overtime and routinely deducted money from paychecks to cover meals while still charging employees for the food.