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Home Community Groups Rye Golf Club Cheated Rye Golf Workers to Protest Outside City Hall Wednesday Night

Cheated Rye Golf Workers to Protest Outside City Hall Wednesday Night

Usually Rye City Council meetings get interesting inside the building during "open mic" — the item on the agenda each meeting called "Residents may be heard on matters for Council consideration that do not appear on the agenda".

But this Wednesday the action will be outside Rye City Hall as former Rye Golf Club (RGC) Workers that were allegedly cheated under the scandalous reign of former RGC Manager Scott Yandrasevich, stage a protest.

Norma Rae

(PHOTO: RGC Workers want what is due to them…)

The workers, through New York City law firm Pelton Graham, is pursuing a class action to recover $4 million. Plaintiffs have calculated that nearly $2 million in gratuities were improperly retained by RGC and their lawsuit seeks in excess of $4 million including applicable penalties, interest and fees. The firm originally started with nine named plaintiffs - waiters, bussers/runners, bartenders, kitchen staff, dishwashers and other hourly employees who worked for the City of Rye, Rye Golf Club and/or RM Staffing & Events Inc. – and now this numbers 54 plaintiffs.

In a recent court order (something called a Rule 23 motion), Rye City now has to supply a list of former employees and Alison Mangiatordi of Pelton Graham told MyRye.com "We anticipate approximately 200 employees will be on this list. This is an opt-out class, meaning that everyone on the list will be included in the class unless they decide to opt out."

As to the reason for the protest Wednesday, Mangiatordi said "The goal of the upcoming Rally for Workers’ Rights is to spread the word regarding the injustice that these workers have faced. We feel that residents of Rye will be appalled to find out that its workers have been cheated out of their wages and gratuities which Rye Golf Club customers intended to go to them." And asked where the money will come from if the workers win the case, Mangiatordi finished "We know that Rye recovered $1.55 million from a settlement with Travelers’ Casualty and Surety Co. in February of 2016 which reimbursed the City of Rye for money stolen in the fraud scheme perpetrated by Scott Yandrasevich. We feel that this money should be used to compensate the workers whose tips and wages were stolen as a result of the fraud scheme. We don’t know if the City of Rye has any other insurance to cover additional damages."

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

Just to be complete, here is the PR release sent by the plaintiff's firm Pelton Graham… 

RALLY FOR RYE GOLF CLUB WORKERS

Pelton Graham LLC announces a Rally for Rye Gold Club Workers to be located at Rye City Hall at 1051 Boston Post Road, Rye, New York on Wednesday, August 3, 2016 at 7:00 pm.

On October 9, 2012 in public testimony before the Rye Golf Club (“RGC”) Commission, Scott Yandrasevich, former RGC Manager admitted that RGC employees who worked at RGC’s Whitby Castle did not receive gratuities and service charges that were left by customers. Specifically, Yandrasevich stated that “gratuities, if they are left, go to the club” and that this gratuity money becomes “part of the restaurant revenue…”. Plaintiffs have calculated that nearly $2 million in gratuities were improperly retained by RGC and their lawsuit seeks in excess of $4 million including applicable penalties, interest and fees.

On December 23, 2013, a group of nine (9) current and former waiters, bussers/runners and bartenders at RGC’s Whitby Castle filed a class and collective action lawsuit against the City of Rye and Rye Golf Club. Following notice being sent, nearly fifty (50) employees have joined the lawsuit. On July 29, 2016, after substantial discovery had been completed in the lawsuit, the Court granted class action certification, allowing all waiters, bussers/runners, bartenders, dishwashers, kitchen staff, and all other hourly employees who worked for City of Rye, Rye Golf Club, and/or RM Staffing & Events, Inc. at any time from December 23, 2007 through the present to participate in the action.

Not only did Yandrasevich admit that tips were taken from workers, the law is clear that gratuities left by customers for service employees must be given to workers, not retained by an employer. The City of Rye has known that RGC improperly retained tips since October 2012, and has done nothing to reimburse workers for the misappropriated gratuities. While Rye settled a claim with Traveler’s Insurance Company for unpaid theft of services and City funds by Scott Yandrasevich for $1.55 million in February of 2016, the City of Rye has refused to return the misappropriated gratuities to the workers who have earned them.

Justice requires that Rye, one of the wealthiest communities in the US, must ensure that their employees receive the gratuities that they earned serving RGC members and guests. Please join us at Rye City Hall on August 3rd at 7:00 pm to show your support for Rye Golf Club workers! 

  1. “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” – George Santayana, 1905.

    In the long hot summer of 2012, at a long hot evening meeting of the Rye Golf Commission, Rye Republican Party Chairman Tony Piscionere can be seen on video rebuking (along with many other shocked attendees) our former Senior Rye City Employee Scott Yandrasevich for just admitting for the first time publicly that club employees were not given the tips from members and others that they had received and earned.

    Mr. Piscionere is an attorney and an experienced successful litigator, and he apparently knew what he had just heard described was not even within the zip code of lawful. And he says so.

    In an honest Rye, like the one our forefathers personally worked so hard to thoughtfully build and maintain, an accounting department investigation would have been undertaken immediately to reconstruct the amounts of both the misdirected tips, and the worked-but-unpaid overtime withheld. Those amounts would have been promptly paid out, apologies issued and various reporting agencies notified and fines, if any, paid.

    But we don’t live in that quaint honestly grounded Rye anymore. In today’s Rye a discovery like what we witnessed back in that long hot meeting in 2012 becomes instead an opportunity and a product for our apparently unfireable outside ‘advisors.’ They somehow convince our willing elected officials to stonewall the issue rather than promptly fix it with the full anticipation of large and (personally) profitable municipal litigation sure to come.

    And so it came to pass that their advice WAS adopted by those elected officials including now Mayor Sack (an attorney) who readily knew better. And the result is that – as with all of the manufactured litigation of the past decade – our advisors take their fee profits up front, and then turn a portion of their winnings back into political contributions to assure continuity of the patronage system which sustains them.

    All this, as gangster character Hyman Roth in The Godfather explains at his Havana rooftop birthday cake scene, all this is “so things go smoothly.”

    By 2012 Rye attorney Kevin Plunkett had long since departed Rye for Rob Astorino’s senior executive staff leaving his personal deputy Kristen Wilson behind to oversee the growing Rye litigation crop & harvest.

    Mr. Plunkett, the Westchester Republican Party Kingpin himself, not only put the phony RM Staffing in business in 2007 as the Rye Corporation Counsel who apparently vetted nothing about it, but he watched over the payments for years of its increasingly strange and growing monthly invoices – including those specifically dealing with tips and overtime.

    I give Mr. Piscionere a lot of credit. He called out wrongdoing when he saw it. Too bad the rest of the local political machine saw not just a gross injustice, but a way to profit.

    Guess who’s gonna pay now?

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