HELL’S KITCHEN — A nightclub and event space on West 46th Street withheld tips from dozens of employees for the past six years, a lawsuit filed by a former bartender charges.
Since about August 2011, Hudson Terrace has included a mandatory “service charge” on bills for banquets and other catered events held at its two-level space at 621 W. 46th St., near 12th Avenue, claims a suit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court by former employee Cair Ferguson last week.
A “reasonable customer” would assume the charges went to Hudson Terrace’s workers, but the venue and its owners actually “retained the money for their own benefit,” the suit says.
Ferguson, who worked as a bartender at the venue from about 2014 to 2015, received an hourly wage but didn’t receive “all of his tips to which he was entitled,” the suit notes.
The venue and its owners "failed to properly disclaim that the service charge was not a gratuity for the staff,” the suit says.
The lawsuit, which is a proposed class action, claims Hudson Terrace's practice has affected at least 40 of its current and former employees, including waiters and waitresses, food runners, bridal attendants and maître’ds.
The venue houses a “Rooftop Garden Lounge,” a “Garden Terrace” and a “Salon” that host “spectacular and unforgettable celebrations of all kinds, from corporate fêtes and press events to fundraisers, galas and weddings,” its website notes.
Ferguson’s suit seeks the gratuities workers were “deprived of,” along with additional, unspecified damages and the costs of suit.
Neither Hudson Terrace nor Ferguson’s attorneys immediately responded to requests for comment on Monday.