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  • Writer's pictureCharles Ash

Common Wage Violations in the Restaurant Industry

Violations of state and federal wage and hour laws are quite common in the restaurant industry. This post discusses some of the most common violations.


The first type of violation is the unlawful retention of tips. When an employee is paid using a tip credit, the FLSA prohibits any policy or practice in which the tips received by the tipped employee are retained by the employer. A tip belongs solely to the tipped employee.


Another type of wage violation that is prevalent in the restaurant industry is unlawful tip pooling. If an employer seeks to utilize the FLSA’s tip credit for an employee, then those employees cannot share tips with non-tipped employees (e.g. dishwashers, cooks, etc.). If non-tipped employees are included in the tip pool, the employer may not utilize a tip credit and all employees must be paid the full minimum wage for all hours worked.


The third type of wage violation that is extremely common in the restaurant industry is off-the-clock work. This violation occurs in a variety of ways, for example performing opening and closing duties before clocking in. Tasks such as rolling silverware, cleaning, stocking, or preparing drink garnishments must be prepared on the clock. In some cases, employers seek to avoid the added labor cost of overtime wages by asking employees to clock out while they continue to work.



If any of these situations apply to you, then please don’t hesitate to contact us. You can email cash@nationalwagelaw.com or call 734-234-5583.

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