LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) — A Lakeland restaurant owner’s “employment contract” is going viral.
Saigon Bistro, located in Lakeside Village in Lakeland, is a Vietnamese restaurant.
According to employee Abigail Seitz, speaking on behalf of the restaurant, the owner passed the contract out to employees during a recent team meeting.
The contract requires employees to sign and agree to pay certain amounts of money for not doing or following rules listed.
The contract rules include not using cell phones during work hours, only giving straws to male customer if they ask, completing all side work, and saying “hi” and “bye” to all customers.
Employees are asked to pay anywhere between .25 cents up to $20.00 depending on the broken rule, and number of times an employee has broken it.
The money collected from employees goes into a “mistake” jar.
“When she [the owner] is here, people follow her rules. When she isn’t here, nobody listens. So she decided to just write it down on the paper and say I’m going to get it signed,” Seitz said.
Former employee Kristina Russell said she was fired for not signing the contract. “I looked at it and I was shocked. It didn’t seem legal to me. I didn’t think it was right to charge your employees money when they’re already making minimum-wage and living off of Tips,” Russell said. “When I told her I couldn’t sign it, she said well then you don’t work here anymore.”
Seitz said the ‘firing’ never happened. “After the meeting she [Russell] got up and said I can’t sign this, she turned in the paper, and just walked out the back door.”
A picture of the contract was posted by someone claiming to be a family member of another employee to popular social media sites, Reddit and the Chive, and has garnered thousands of comments and shares.
Employees tell News Channel 8 the money goes back to them in the end, as the owner planned to use it to purchase snacks for employees. Although they said no one has been asked to pay up yet, instead, they have only received warnings.