View Full Version : Yankees stealing from their Fans and Workers

05-13-2011, 23:54
Once again the Yankees show you why they have no class. Not only are the Yankees charging $10.50 for a nice warm beer, they also add on a $2 "Service fee." Now while you may believe this so called "Service Charge" is for the waiters and waitress's you would be wrong. This $2 charge goes right into the Yankee coffers, which by the way is illegal according to New York State law.

A class against lawsuit filed by three Yankee stadium servers against Legends Hospitality. The lawsuit against the concessionaire co-owned by the New York Yankees, the Dallas Cowboys, and Goldman Sachs, alleges that the Yankees pocket the 20 percent service fee attached to food and drink in violation of New York law, the suit could involve more than a hundred servers and hundreds of thousands of dollars in claims.

"These servers are taught to up-sell, just like any other waiter, or waitress," says the plaintiffs' lawyer, Brian Schaffer. "If somebody says, 'I want a hot dog,' they say, 'But wouldn’t you like a cold beer with that?'" Normally when you up-sell, a server is doing themselves a favor, because their tip will be larger when it is based on a involuntary % that the Yankees add to the bill. In this case the only thing the server accomplished with their up selling is to line the Yankees pockets even more.

According to the suit, the menus field-level spectators find in their cup-holders include this disclaimer: "A 20% service charge will be added to the listed prices. Additional gratuity is at your discretion." That phrase "additional gratuity" would seem to imply that the 20 percent is, in fact, a gratuity, but Schaffer says his clients don’t get that money. Instead, they receive a far more modest commission, between four and six percent, of their total sales for the game.

Schaffer says his clients are paid a $35 flat fee per shift, plus their commissions, and work every Yankee home game. It adds up to between $14,000 and $20,000 apiece on the year, but the commitment makes it tough to have another job during the baseball season. One of the servers named in the suit, Evelyn Ryan, has been selling food and drink to Yankees fans since 1999, working in both the old Yankee Stadium and the new one.

According to New York State law "No employer can retain any part of a gratuity or of any charge purported to be a gratuity for an employee," in 2008 an appeals court ruling involving World Yacht found that the dining cruise company had illegally withheld tips from servers under a similar "service fee" arrangement.

The Yankees already overcharge their fan base, and to now to pull a stunt that only Ebenezer Scrooge would be proud of is beyond the pale. I hope the courts will find the Yankees guilty of stealing millions from their fans and workers, but I have a feeling once they are found guilty the price of food, and drinks will be having a sharp increase to pay for the Yankees stupidity.

By Dominick Mezzapesa
Twitter @dmezz1120
Email mezz1962@gmail.com
WFAN caller Dominick from Hicksville

The Boss
05-14-2011, 10:07
it doesnt seem like the Yankees to pull a stunt like this. Why risk a PR disaster and lawsuit for such a small amount of $??

05-14-2011, 11:15
I don't think Cashman would know, but the Yankees absolutely, 100% knew exactly what they were doing and here is why they knew..The Yankees put on their cup-holders: "A 20% service charge will be added to the listed prices. Additional gratuity is at your discretion." By writing this they knew that fans would interpret this 20% fee as a tip.

The Boss
05-14-2011, 12:43
Thats not how I understand that at all. If it plainly states that it is a service charge. If it just said "20% charge" then you could argue the point that customers are misled into thinking that is a built in tip that goes to the server. But it says "A 20% service charge will be added to the listed prices" and then it mentions "Additional gratuity is at your discretion."

When you add the 2nd line you then are telling the consumer that the "Gratuity" and "Service" charge are not the same thing. The consumer doesnt know what a service charge goes to, but you could say they believe it to be a tip for the server - until you add the "Additional gratuity is at your discretion.". This lets the consumer know that that "service" and "gratuity" are not the same thing, and there is no confusion to what happens to your discretionary payment to a waiter that you hand them as gratuity.

If anything, by suggesting that a consumer might want to give an additional gratuity, you are letting them know that it is something they should maybe be doing. Who wants to pay $10.50 for a warm beer, pay a forced 20% gratuity and then give more on top of that? Isnt 20% already a pretty damn good tip?

The fact they use the word "additional" doesnt mean that they are telling you all the cost previous are also gratuity. It just says that the gratuity would be in addition to all other payments.

Now unless there is something in law that says anything referred to as a "service charge" must go to a certain place and it is not going there, I think the Yanks get off on this easily. It would be nice if the cups say specifically that the service change is NOT gratuity. That I agree with.

It says they receive around 5% commission on sales. Thats fair. they get $35 to show up, plus commision, plus tips.

Jersey John
05-15-2011, 10:00
George was famous for treating charities and other less fortunate very well, but stealing pennies from the lowest paid workers. Im not sure if this counts. I know when I see a 20% charge on top of everything else that I am much less prone to leave a tip