Forced servers with no money to foot the bill from dine and dashers

A server went viral on TikTok after a table allegedly ran out on her bill and she was told she had to pay for her meal.

Crowds of users on the platform condemned the practice as “illegal” and urged the server to report the restaurant and/or sue the establishment for making them financially foot the bill for lost revenue on the table .

The video was uploaded by Katelyn Sullivan (@katensullivan) and amassed over 65,000 likes, with hundreds of users leaving replies in the comments. The Daily Dot contacted her via TikTok comment for more information.

A text overlay on Katelyn’s TikTok reads, “If the table doesn’t pay and the manager says you need to pay his $60 check and you don’t have $60.”

@katensullivan #serverlife #dineandditch #restaurantlife ♬ Original sound – Katelyn Sullivan

There were many users who objected to the manager’s bailed table coverage policy. One user walking past Kat on the platform wrote: “I will quit that day or sue or both.”

Another viewer named Gabbi wrote: “As a manager at a restaurant that is 100% illegal.” A TikToker named Kitty Cat said: “They can’t legally make you pay for that. my old manager tried it on me once, but I wouldn’t let him.”

However, it appears that there are a number of users on the app who say they have been forced to do this themselves on their own server jobs.

“Reading all the comments its illegal if this happens to me all the time,” wrote one user. TikTok user Diana also said, “I either had to pay or write something,” while another viewer named Sydney replied to the video, “These 2 girls ate and stormed out and I also had to pay.”

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, it doesn’t seem like the issue of whether workers have to foot the bill for a bill that’s left a table isn’t entirely black and white. Yes, it is “illegal” for businesses to make deductions from a worker’s wages to cover the cost of work stoppages, but this is only the case if those deductions bring a worker below the hourly minimum wage.

The USDL also states that these financial penalties cannot also reduce overtime pay, and the same logic applies to uniforms. That is, if a facility requires a worker to wear specific attire to work, the cost of that uniform cannot push a worker’s paycheck below the minimum wage threshold.

Different states also seem to have different laws when it comes to getting servers to pay the cost of a dine-and-dashers bill. In New Jersey, for example, deductions can never be made from a server’s paycheck to account for a lost workday. spoke to the state Department of Labor, which released a statement on the matter: “An employer cannot ask a waiter to pay for a customer’s meal in a dine and dash situation … This would be considered a distraction from wages.” that are illegal under the law. The New Jersey Wage and Hour Act does not permit any deductions from an employee other than those required by law.”


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*Initial publication: December 23, 2022 at 11:12 am CST

Jack Alban

Jack Alban is a freelance journalist for the Daily Dot, covering trending human interest/social media stories and real people’s reactions to them. He always tries to incorporate evidence-based studies, current events, and relevant facts to those stories to create your not-so-average viral post.

Jack Alban Forced servers with no money to foot the bill from dine and dashers

Jaclyn Diaz

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