The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) was recently held at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, and one conference goer reported on TripAdvisor that they failed to pay a bar tab. Oops!
How they report the hotel handled it, though, is concerning:
I was angered by an experience where there was a mix-up with the bill at the Belverde bar and no one ended up paying it. This was embarrassing on our part and we regret the error.
However, I was angered by the fact that the young Ethiopian waitress who was meant to collect the check tearfully approached me the following day saying that the manager had threatened to take it out of her paycheck unless she recouped the money.
To be clear, it was NOT her fault.
Hopefully the staff member was making up this story, to guilt the group into making good on the bill. Because if it’s true that the hotel was going to take the bar tab out of her check, that’s a pretty clear violation of Maryland law. I believe this hotel is Marriott-managed, by the way, and not a franchise.
Without an employee’s signed agreement, the deduction would be impermissible. And even then the authorization process is available “to offset a loss to the employer due to the admitted or court determined fault or negligence of an employee” which pretty clearly wouldn’t exist in a dine and dash situation. But if they can steal money from customers then why not employees too?
Legal requirements notwithstanding, and even at a big company, your server may be penalized – so don’t dine and dash. As for the CPAC attendees, I’m old enough to remember when conservatism favored free markets, limited government, and personal responsibility. That was true as recently as 2015 I think.