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FYI: Restaurant owners and managers who force workers to hand over their tips can be held personally accountable under state law, a federal court ruled in an opinion handed down Monday. Previously, the practice was illegal under state law, but owners were not liable, only the businesses. Workers often couldn’t recoup losses, because the restaurants simply declared bankruptcy, according to Ken Kimerling of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, which litigated the case on behalf a group of Chinatown workers. The lawsuit, Chu Chung v. The New Silver Palace Restaurant, Inc., was settled for $489,000 in June, but Federal District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein’s written opinion in the case clarifies state law on accountability. [7/16/03]

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