HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - A Henrico waitress says a $200 tip cost her a job at IHOP. The large tip was a supposed mistake. The waitress says managers refunded the money to the customer and allegedly told her to pay up or else.
Chanetrice Carter could not believe her eyes.
"I said, 'my goodness, I just got a $200 tip,'" said Carter. "This is amazing. This is crazy."
Carter's jubilation at the West Broad Street IHOP turned to devastation a week later.
"A part of me was upset," said Chanetrice Carter. "A part of me was mad."
Carter says the manager called for a closed-door meeting about the customer's tip.
"He said, 'that's his handwriting. That's his signature,'" said Carter. "But he only meant to write down $2.00. He didn't mean to write down $200.00"
Carter claims the manager then gave her a deadline.
"You have seven days to pay it back or else," Carter says she was told.
Carter refused to return the money, and she claims she was fired as a result.
"Nobody's rights have been violated here," said NBC 12 legal analyst Steve Benjamin. "There has been no unlawful termination. She didn't have to return the money, but they can in turn fire her because she is just employed at will."
We left a message with the IHOP district manager. He reached out to Carter during our interview.
"What did they have to say?" we asked.
"He basically said that he wants to sit down tomorrow," said Carter. "And if they can correct anything they will correct it. I just look forward to sitting down with them and seeing what they have to say because nobody would talk to me until you all called."
Carter meets with management Thursday morning. We will keep you posted on what happens.
UPDATE: We spoke to Carter again Thursday afternoon. She says the first statement the district manager made to her Thursday morning was, "How soon can you come back?!"
Carter says she needs a few days to think about it and will have an answer for him Monday.