Spitzer to Take on Bathroom Attendant Industry

October 8, 2004 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - After a year of pursuing misbehaving mutual funds firms, New York's Attorney General may have switched his sights to an even more sinister foe: companies that don't pay restaurant bathroom attendants a minimum wage.

According to Reuters, Spitzer has charged Royal Flush in a $4 million lawsuit alleging that the city’s largest bathroom attendant placement firm did not pay workers, and instead required workers to pay a ‘lease fee’ proportional to tips collected during a shift. The attendants, who often wait on customers in restaurant bathrooms armed with cologne, mouthwash, and hand towels, had to rely solely on these tips for their source of income from the job.

“The idea of people working without wages and having to pay a fee to stand in a bathroom and wait for tips is unconscionable,” Spitzer said, according to Reuters. “The arrangement violated state labor law, and deprived people of the dignity of the minimum wage.”

Spitzer’s actions are already having an effect. The owners of the restaurant Tavern on the Green have already signed an agreement to hire 14 workers for full-time positions, as well as pay attendants $175,000 in back-wages.