According to his own account, food truck worker Brendan O’Connor and his food truck crew prepared a $170 food order for employees of a local shareholder advisory firm who had sprinted up to his truck in South Street Seaport in Manhattan. The stall was opened to support the area while repairs from Hurricane Sandy were underway. “This group placed a huge order: three of this sandwich, four of another, three of the one that takes forever on the grill, two of the one that takes forever to assemble. Five or six milkshakes.” This slug of an order also stalled other customers’ orders on this rainy Monday. When the order was completed, the firm’s customers took delivery of the food, but did not leave a tip. So O’Connor fired off a tweet about it and identified the firm. According to the article: “Apparently, those employees were mortified that their lunch truck had tip-shamed them—the home office in San Francisco even got involved.” Once notified of the tip-shame, O’Connor’s boss was none too pleased. He apologized to the firm and fired O’Connor.
This is not the first termination over tip-shaming on social media. According to the Consumerist, a waitress was fired for tip-shaming a pastor on Reddit for not ponying up the required tip for a large group at Applebee’s. She posted a photo of the receipt on which the pastor wrote: “I give God 10%. Why do you get 18?” While not particularly a legal risk, tip-shaming on social media may adversely impact one’s employment.