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Letters 09-29-2014

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Each time you hit a road crater while driving, thank the “nerd” and the Tea Party controlled Republican legislature.

Home · Articles · News · Features · Ticked off over tips
. . . .

Ticked off over tips

Anne Stanton - October 25th, 2010
Ticked-Off Over Tips
By Anne Stanton
A former teen employee of Kilwin’s said that the candy shop in
Traverse City takes most of the tips that are intended for the
workers, and has filed a lawsuit to get her money back.
“People were leaving tips, thinking they were going to the kids. Not
only were they ripping the kids off, they were deceiving the public.
That’s what really bothers me, “ said Marvin Hagelberg, who helped his
daughter file the suit.
Owner Mary Daily declined comment and referred questions to Traverse
City attorney Craig Elhart.
Elhart said that the employee is “absolutely” misrepresenting all the
facts and implied the employee was routinely tardy and a no-show for
work.

EMPLOYEE INCIDENT
Shayla Hagelberg, 18, said she worked for Kilwin’s this past summer,
her third summer at the candy store, which serves up tasty homemade
fudge, gigantic caramel apples, and ice cream cones to throngs of
tourists.
Shayla now works at a different coffee shop near M-72. She said that
if her character or punctuality is challenged, she’ll bring up the
fact that she had a near perfect attendance at Traverse City West
Senior High, carried a 3.8 GPA, won numerous academic awards,
graduated summa cum laude, and was first chair cello in the school’s
orchestra. She plans to subpoena her time cards to prove her
punctuality at Kilwin’s.
Shayla’s experience at Kilwin’s soured earlier this year, when she
arrived a few minutes late to work on June 25, which she claims was
the first time ever. Co-owner Brian Daily allegedly became angry,
slammed the door in her face, and told her to wait in her car.
Hagelberg began crying and decided to quit, but co-owner Mary Daily
(Brian’s wife) showed up and eventually convinced her to stay,
promising a $250 bonus and a 50-cent raise if she worked until the end
of summer, but nothing was signed, according to the court filing.

LAWSUIT FILED
Hagelberg said she received only a 35-cent raise and no bonus at the
end of summer despite working until August 20. When her father asked
Brian about the bonus, he allegedly said, “I’m an asshole. What are
you going to do about it?”
That, unsurprisingly, prompted Marvin to help his daughter file a
claim in small claims court. But the case recently went to 86th
District Court because the Dailys wanted to hire an attorney, the
likes of which are not allowed in small claims court.
That’s when Hagelberg decided to include the alleged tip shortage in
the lawsuit and to raise her ask from $300 to $2,700 plus interest,
fees, and attorney fees.
In a response filing, the couple said that Shayla forfeited her bonus
because she voluntarily quit. (Employees who worked through Labor Day
did get a bonus check.) The couple’s court filing also said that
Shayla received all the tips to which she’s entitled, and then, rather
contradictorily, added that Shayla was an hourly, at-will employee and
not entitled to any tips. It also said there “was no meeting of the
minds between” Hagelberg and Kilwin’s regarding a raise and bonus. And
no written contract.
Shayla said that her last day was August 20, just as she told the
Dailys early in the summer.  She got a new job that could provide more
hours, and said that Mary asked her to call if she had extra time to
work at Kilwin’s on the weekends. Shayla said she hadn’t called Mary
to work, but she also didn’t “quit” as alleged or pull a no-show.

SHORT-CHANGED?
Shayla said that Mary routinely collected the tips that customers left
in the two large glass jars that say, “Tips Thank You” and “Feeling
Tipsy?” Her standing promise to employees was to equally divide the
tips and pay a bonus at summer’s end. Shayla wrote in her filing that
the total tips, ranging from $30 to $100 each day, should have equated
to about $800 per employee. But her bonus checks for the first two
summers were only $50, she told Express.
Megan Thompson, who worked at Kilwin’s in the summer of 2008, agreed
that the tips came nowhere close to what she believes was left in the
tip jars. She said Kilwin’s paid her a bonus of $60 for her share of
tips at summer’s end, but it didn’t make sense. This past summer, for
example, she worked at a downtown coffee shop and typically made $60
in four days.
“And the coffee shop wasn’t nearly as busy as Kilwin’s. It really
didn’t add up, and the customers thought the money was going to us,
especially the older guys. They loved coming downtown and talking to
people at ice cream places. They’d always hand you a dollar and say,
‘Thank you honey,’ and you had to put it in the tip jar.”
Another former employee said that it would be far better if Kilwin’s
just split the tips up everyday like most restaurants do, instead of
paying them out as a bonus. That way  the
kids would know they were getting their fair share and that tips were
dispensed equitably among them.
Shayla is asking Kilwin’s to either eliminate the tip jar or start
giving all the money to the kids.
Shayla and the Kilwin owners were ordered to meet with a mediator. If
they fail to make nice, they will likely go before Judge Mike Haley in
January.

 
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