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Jay-Z Rapped with Suit for Allegedly Stiffing Servers

5/23/2007 3:42 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

It's a hard knock life for the folks who work at the Jiggaman's New York hotspot, if a new lawsuit is to be believed.

According to court papers obtained by TMZ, Celeste Williams, a former "server" at the swank 40/40 Club, accuses the music mogul and the company that owns the joint, Twenty Ones, Inc., of not even paying her minimum wage. She also alleges that the club held back tips from servers and that she got stiffed for overtime she worked. What's more, Williams' lawyers say in the complaint that there are "more than 100" other 40/40 employees who will join the lawsuit. Williams is seeking unspecified damages.

40/40 rep Ron Berkowitz tells TMZ that the named plaintiff -- Williams -- worked for the club for a grand total of four days, and that the club is not aware of any other of the "more than 100" workers who may have signed up for the suit. When we spoke to him, Berkowitz said the club hadn't yet been served with papers, but insisted that all employees keep 100% of their tips, and that any allegation of wait staff being unpaid is false.

A lawyer for Williams did not return calls seeking comment.


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what ever happened to TOO SHORT & guys like Tupac, RAPPERS ARE LIKE PRETTY BOYS NOW, HOW FUNNY!!!!!

2711 days ago

Baby Shamble    

Whether its true or not, what is certainly true is that Jay Z is an obnoxious conspicuous consumer with his ridiculous Cristal outrage. The black community in American, or the white community for that matter--whatever the color, the young people who buy or listen to his music--could give a flying f*** what exhorbitantly priced European luxury alcohol he consumes. It was a slap in the of everyone he considers to be his audience when he claims street cred on the one hand, then sits in the CEO office drinking French champagne at 500.00 a pop. What an idiot. No wonder his records aren't selling. So this story doesn' surprise me.

2711 days ago


if there is any truth to this, i hope this guy gets his ass in a lot of trouble for not paying his employees their rightful wage. . i have worked for businesses in the past who rip off their employees just like this. I won a big lawsuit over a similar situation several years ago. Employers who treat employees this way seem to think the slave days are still here and it is okay to work people for little or for free. Anyway if this is truth, sue this guys butt.

2711 days ago


He owes me money too. To the left, to the left........

2711 days ago

Rob G    

What did she expect? She works for people who made it to the top by stepping on any and everybody. I hope she and the others get what they deserve though. I can't stand to see theese rich fake thugs getting over all the time. Jay should stick to giving it to beyonce not the average joe or jane....

2711 days ago


People will say & do anything if they think it's going to get them a little $$$$$$$!!!!

2711 days ago


I worked in a restaurant for many years. Servers here do not get minimum wage because tips cover the rest of it. At the time, minimum wage was 5.25 and us servers were paid anywhere from 2.13 per hour to 3.00 per hour. The only time we were PAID minimum wage is if we didn't make enough in tips to equal that amount per hour for the day, which was very rare. As for an owner holding back tips, pretty hard to prove since you can't tell what the tips were. I'm not defending this guy, just stating what it is here in NJ

2711 days ago


Seriously? Is that the only places she's ever waited tables?

I'll tell you what probably happened, as i used to wait tables, bartend, and manage resturants.

- she wouldn't earn minimum wage because wait staff only earns apx. 2.13/hr due to making tips. If the server doesn't earn the additional money in tips of what would be minimum wage, then the place has to make up the difference.
- while training, her trainer kept the tips. this is also pretty standard, though not entirely fair, but its the nature of the business.
- overtime is only earned in the US (mandatory OT, that is, not what a company chooses to pay in addition) when a worker works a combined 80 hours over two weeks. Not more than 8 hours in one day.

In short? She's a damn idiot. Welcome to hard work.

2711 days ago


Hmmm, GREEDY just like his bitch Beyonce!!! Perfect for each other!

2711 days ago


Think about it. Could someone come to work at your job for a grand total of 4 days and A. file a lawsuit and B. get 100 other co-workers to join her? Not likely. I see it posted here and I know from experience, wait staff don't get minimum wage or over time generally. I bet she has sued other employers in the past. At the very least it's a setup. Even if it is a legitimate claim she would be entitled to lost wages/tips for 4 days service. Jay has that times 10 in his pocket right now.

2711 days ago


Is it just me or is Jay-Z an UNattractive man?

2711 days ago

Caribbean Goddess    

Stop trying to scandel Jay Z out of his money. You have to work to get tips, you just assumed that because it was him, that you were going to be paid in an Escalade. I am experienced when it comes down to tipping wait staff. If the service is good, you are suppose to tip .15%. If the service is spectacular, you are suppose to tip, .20%. The last time when I went out to eat at Red Lobster, our meal cost $120.00. I tiped our waiter $30.00. That was a .25% tip. He had great social skills and he had a great personality. On the other hand some are lazy, ignorant, and have attitude problems. You need to take that bogus a** law suit and get a life. Jay Z does not have to pay you anything you opportunist.

2711 days ago



2711 days ago


Yep. That's the EXACT same Jay-Z that ran up a $8700 bar tab at the bar I worked at in a high end hotel in Beverly Hills, drinking Cristal out of the bottle in the middle of the bar and yelling anything and everything he wanted at the top of his lungs.
Yep. That's the EXACT same Jay-Z that got exeptional and extended service from the five-star staff of the bar and hotel while staying there and partying.
Yep. That's the EXACT same Jay-Z that never EVER tipped anyone on my staff at the bar or restaurant, regardless of how spotless and exceptional the service was. That's a 0% tip, in case anyone is paying attention. We, his "bitches", got to pay taxes on 8% of the $8700 tab, because we work in the food and beverage industry.
Thanks, Jay-Z, for showing what a classy gentleman you are, while bartenders, waiters, and staff members are trying to just scrape by.
And, yes, I'm bitter.

2711 days ago


Dan is a ROSIE O'DONELL gays sure do stick together!!!!! HEY ROSIE ONLY SKINNY TATTOOED, PORN STAR LESBIANS ARE COOL.................."as 4 jay Z,",,yawn,yawn,,,must be an eAST COAST thing, like Rosie & Seinfeild, DON'T CRY EAST COASTERS, YOU WILL MOVE HERE SOON ENOUGH!!! they all do ........GO HOME , unless your a slut!!!!!!! duh

2711 days ago
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