It happens in the best of restaurants.
Cheating waiters out of their tips or proper wages is not such a dirty little secret anymore as growing numbers of workers have been suing to right alleged wrongs.
Now a new website can help guide restaurant employees through New York's complicated labor laws.
Called Waiterpay.com, it's the brainchild of a labor attorney who won a record $3.15 million settlement with Sparks Steakhouse last year, settling a class action suit about alleged tip-skimming.
"There have been some significant cases against famous restaurants that have shined a spotlight on restaurant pay practices," said attorney Louis Pechman. "Surprisingly, though, there are still many restaurants out there who are either ignorant of the law or are willfully violating the law."
Waiterpay.com features a "top ten violations list" and a news blog with the latest on those eateries under fire for alleged wage or tip abuses.
While the amount of money not paid can seem small at first, over weeks or years, "it can become business ending," said Pechman. "In other words, ignoring the wage and hour laws may be a recipe for disaster."