Tip Share Laws Violated
A popular New York City restaurant, the Waverly Inn, currently faces a lawsuit due to claims that the restaurant company failed to pay its waiters and waitresses minimum wage in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act as well as New York labor law. This case provides an example of just one of the many ways in which restaurants engage in illegal theft of tips from waiters and waitresses.
The Basis of the Illegal Tip Share Lawsuit
The complaint in the lawsuit claims that servers at the company were required to perform menial tasks at less than minimum wage. The lawsuit also claims that under New York law, the restaurant was not permitted to receive a tip credit because the servers’ non-tipped duties regularly exceeded 20% of their workday – meaning the servers performed excessive side work in violation of federal law. As a result, the lawsuit claims that servers at the restaurant should have been compensated a full minimum wage rate. The lawsuit also claims that the restaurant required servers at the company to participate in an illegal tip pool that included non-service workers. The lawsuit also claims that a server at the restaurant was fired because he complained about management requiring him to stay longer after his shift to perform non-tipped work.
Common Ways in which Wage Theft Occurs
Wage theft is a common problem throughout the country. Among all the numerous industries, wage theft is particularly common in restaurants. Some of the most common ways in which employers engage in wage theft or theft of tips and wages from servers include the following:
- Working off the clock. If your employer requires you to come in early to prepare for the day ahead or to work off the clock after your shift is over, it is likely that your employer is committing one of the most common types of wage theft. Another common type of wage theft is when an employer requires you to work through a break.
- Deducting improper expenses. Some employers are known for making workers pay for expenses when doing so is actually an improper deduction. There are numerous types of improper deductions that are often taken out of the paychecks of service-based workers.
- Misclassifying workers. One of the most common ways in which employers are known to misclassify workers is labeling them as independent contractors rather than employees.
- Not paying overtime. If you work more than 40 hours a week, you are likely entitled to overtime compensation. If your employer fails to compensate you for overtime work, it is likely that wage theft is occurring.
- Paying below the minimum wage. The federal government and state determine the minimum wage rate for hourly workers. You are still entitled to receive minimum wage, and anything less than that is wage theft.
Contact an Experienced Wage and Hour Lawyer
If you are a waiter, waitress, or other employee who believes that you have been a victim of wage theft, it can be hard to know how to proceed to obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact Herrmann Law today to schedule a consultation with one our experienced wage lawyers.
If you have any questions about tip share laws or if you would like to talk about your specific situation and what tips you are entitled to by law, please contact an employment lawyer at Herrmann Law for a consultation by calling 817-479-9229 or contact us online and someone from our office will contact you within 24 hours.