The restaurant industry is fast-paced and highly competitive. Restaurant employees work hard for every dollar they earn, whether through hourly wages or tips. Unfortunately, due to the nature of their work, restaurant employees may all too often find that their employers treat them unfairly. Because of the unique nature of the restaurant industry, rules regarding compensation earned by restaurant workers can be more complex, as employees often receive tips in addition to their regular wages.
The Fair Labor Standards Act
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) protects the rights of both tipped and non-tipped restaurant workers. This federal statute contains strict guidelines and requirements regarding employees – but despite those strict guidelines, employers too often violate the rights of their employees.
Most restaurant servers are paid below the minimum wage, with the expectation that they will earn additional pay in the form of tips each day. While this is allowable under the FLSA, it is only authorized if an employee ultimately ends up making at least the minimum wage when tips are included. Unfortunately, many employers fail to follow the terms of the FLSA and other state or local laws in their particular state.
Common Employer Violations
Some of the most common ways that restaurants attempt to avoid paying their employees the full amount to which the law entitles them include:
There are, of course, numerous other instances in which restaurant employees might need legal counsel. At Outten & Golden, we have extensive experience in workplace discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims, wrongful termination claims, and many other causes of action relating to employee rights.
OUTTEN & GOLDEN – EMPLOYMENT LAWYERS FOR RESTAURANT WORKERS
At Outten & Golden LLP, we are committed to protecting and defending the rights of restaurant workers. Our attorneys are proud to have been among the first legal advocates for tipped employees. We have successfully represented restaurant workers in some of the earliest cases against high-profile restaurants for violations such as:
If you are an employee working in the restaurant industry, and you need legal guidance regarding an employment issue, we’re here to help. Please contact us online or call our offices in New York, San Francisco, or Washington, DC to discuss your circumstances with a knowledgeable and experienced Outten & Golden attorney.
*Please note that prior successes do not guarantee future outcomes.