Whether you work for a small family-owned business or a large multi-national company, employers of all sizes violate workplace laws. We have been up against some of the largest employers in the world who were represented by large, international law firms. We have helped countless employees from restaurants, hotels, and other service industries and hourly employees battle their employers to obtain the compensation they are entitled to by law. It is an understatement to say that we have come across lots of different types of workplace violations. Below is a general list of common laws that employers break.
- Failing to Pay Overtime: The general rule of law is that all employees are entitled to be paid overtime; it is the employer’s burden to prove that an employee is exempt. Just because you are paid a salary, day rate, or other non-hourly rate does not mean you are not entitled to overtime. This is a very common misconception.
- Employee Misclassification: When an employer identifies you as an independent contractor to save money, but you have the same responsibilities as a full-time employee.
- Illegal Tip Pools: This is where management includes people in the “pool” of shared tips at a restaurant who are not service staff or they include management.
- Charging for Cash Shortages: Charging employees when a customer walks out without paying their bill: This is illegal – you are entitled to your hourly compensation whether your customers pay the tab or not.
- Glass Breakage Fees: An employer charging employee for broken glasses or dishes: Your employer cannot legally take money out of your tips for any broken dishes – even if you were the person who broke them!
- Retaliation: It is illegal for your employer to treat you differently, change you responsibilities or demote you if you have complained about them or filed a formal complaint.
- Discrimination: If your employer treats you differently because of your age, your gender, your pregnancy, you sexual identity, your race, or because you have a disability, you will want to talk to an attorney about filing a discrimination claim.
- Side Work: Getting paid less than minimum wage for the hours you spend doing “side work.” Whether or not you are actually serving customers or doing anything that earn tips, you are still entitled to earn minimum wage for every hour you work, unless the side work makes up less than 20 percent of your work time.
- Meal Deductions. Restaurants requiring employees to eat meals at their restaurants and charging them the full menu price for their meals – this is illegal.
- Mandatory Service Fees: Restaurant managers charging customers a “mandatory service fee” and then keeping the service fee all while compensating the employee at a subminimum hourly rate.
In addition to the above list of general violations, we have created several other lists, tailored to various employees in specific situations. Click on the links below to learn more about your particular situation.