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Disney World Sued for Allegedly Failing to Pay Restaurant Servers Minimum Wage

Thanks a lot, Mickey Mouse

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Theme Park Tourist/Flickr

Disney World is not in fact the happiest place on earth, as evidenced by a new lawsuit filed against it: A server formerly employed at one of the theme park's restaurants claims she was forced to spend too much time doing non-tipped duties and wasn't paid accordingly, reports the Orlando Sentinel.

Plaintiff Jasmin Sandoval says she spent a significant portion of her work hours performing sidework like cleaning, restocking condiments, washing dishes, and setting tables. Tipped workers are paid a smaller minimum wage than other employees, with the assumption that tips will make up the difference; in Florida, the tipped minimum wage is $5.03 versus a non-tipped minimum wage of $8.05.

By law, employees who spend more than 20 percent of their working hours performing jobs that don't earn tips have to be paid the higher, untipped minimum wage for that time to ensure they're not being shorted pay; in Sandoval's case, she says the Plaza Restaurant failed to do that, and is therefore violating the Florida Minimum Wage Act.

According to the lawsuit, Sandoval is seeking damages in excess of $15,000, but her attorney insists she's not looking for millions of dollars. "We're just trying to get wages recovered for people," he tells the Sentinel.

Sandoval isn't the only person to file a tipping-related lawsuit recently: A California court of appeals just ruled that tipped workers in multiple states cannot by law be made to pool their tips with kitchen staff or other non-tipped workers. Complicated minimum wage and tipping laws are just one reason for the recent movement away from the traditional tipping model that reigns over a majority of American restaurants; in some instances, restaurants are choosing to raise menu prices and pay workers a flat hourly wage.

Eater has reached out to Disney World for comment. Check out the lawsuit filed in Florida circuit court, below:

Jasmin Sandoval vs. Disney World

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