Lawsuit alleges Darden’s tipping policy causes discrimination, harassment


Signage outside an Olive Garden restaurant in Thornton, Colorado, on Friday, March 19, 2021.

Chet Strange | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Advocacy group One Fair Wage is suing Olive Garden parent Darden Restaurants, alleging the company’s tipping policy encourages sexual harassment and racial discrimination against its waitstaff.

The complaint, which was filed Thursday in California federal court, is the latest salvo in the battle against the tipped minimum wage. In 43 states, employers can pay their workers as little as $2.13 an hour as long as that hourly wage and tips add up to the locality’s pay floor. Otherwise, the employer has to make up the difference.

The tipped minimum wage was last…


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