Minimum Wage Violations
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) generally requires that covered employers pay their workers a minimum wage of at least $7.25 per hour of work.
Special rules apply to employees who receive tips at work. Employers of tipped employees who meet certain conditions may claim a tip credit toward the minimum wage based on tips received by their employees. Employers must pay tipped employees a cash wage of at least $2.13 per hour if they claim a tip credit against their minimum wage obligation. If an employee’s tips combined with the employer’s cash wage of at least $2.13 per hour do not equal $7.25 per hour, the employer must make up the difference.
Tipped employees in the restaurant industry are frequent victims of minimum-wage violations. Employers may pay waiters, servers, and other tipped workers as little as $2.13 per hour as long as an employee’s tips bring them up to at least $7.25 per hour. Far too often, tipped employees do not make the minimum hourly wage required by law. If you are a tipped employee and answer “Yes” to any of the following questions, you may have a minimum-wage claim against your employer:
- Does your employer require that you share tips with non-tipped employees or managers?
- Does your employer keep a portion of the tips for itself?
- Does your employer use tip money to cover cash register shortfalls, credit card transaction fees, or customers who leave without paying their bill?
- Does your employer pay you a flat weekly or monthly salary even though the number of hours you work varies from week to week?
- Has your employer failed to record all of the time you spent at work?
- Does your employer pay you $2.13 per hour as a “tipped employee,” but require you to spend a significant amount of time waiting for customers or performing non-tipped work like washing dishes, cleaning the restaurant, or stocking supplies?
If you answered “Yes” to any of the questions above, you may be entitled to monetary damages. To learn more, contact the Wagoner Law Firm for a free case evaluation.