Wage and hour disputes are on the rise in the restaurant industry, with 8,261 lawsuits in 2017 as opposed to the 1,597 lawsuits that were filed in 1997. Federal and state laws change all the time, and unfortunately, many restaurant owners aren’t changing with the times. Lawsuits that were filed in the past few years include allegations of being paid below minimum wage, recording 40 hours on timecards in an effort to avoid paying overtime, and breaking tip pooling rules, all of which are covered in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Restaurant owners should educate themselves on compliance laws to avoid paying the price, which can include lost pay, attorney fees, and court costs if the case is taken to court.
Common Mistakes Made with Wage & Hours
Below are common mistakes that restaurant owners make when it comes to compliance:
- Tip pools: This refers to tips that are share with other staffers. Employers should have a policy regarding their own tip pool process to avoid any claims.
- Minimum wage: Employers should confirm their state’s minimum wage laws.
- Overtime pay: Non-exempt employees who work over 40 years should receive overtime pay, and not off the books.
- Exempt and non-exempt employees: An employer must not place a non-exempt employee into the exempt category to avoid paying them for overtime hours.
- Independent contractors: Unless individuals are being paid a flat amount for a contract, they are considered employees and not independent contractors.
- Harassment policies: Employee claims can also include sexual harassment complaints that must be taken seriously. Employers should also consider having an anti-harassment policy and train supervisors and managers.
Bridging Gaps Between Individuals & Companies
Donati Law, PLLC always stands on the side of individuals. We recognize that the system often favors powerful corporations and the wealthy, which is why we strive to bridge the gap using our over 35 years of experience and skill to represent the interests of individuals. As employees, you have rights that should never be violated. We can help you if you’ve been mistreated or have been injured and wronged by insurance companies. Don’t be afraid to call our lawyers to look into your unique situation – we’re here to help.
Call the understanding team of professionals at Donati Law, PLLC at (901) 209-5500, or contact us online. With more than 35 years of legal experience, we’ve helped countless employees whose rights have been violated in the workplace. We’re not afraid to go up against corporations and business to protect the vulnerable.