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Posts by Samara Bober

Illegal Restaurant Tip Pools

Many restaurants operate tip pools where a number employees, such as food runners and bussers, share in server or bartender tips. Tip pools can be legal, but sometimes restaurants illegally include back-of-the-house employees such as cooks, dishwashers, and janitors.  Even bar backs who have insufficient customer interaction may be improperly included in bartender tips.  Some restaurants also illegally allow The Fair Labor Standards Act prohibits this type of tip theft, and provides protections for server and bartender tips.  If you…

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Digital Wage Theft Is a Common Violation in America

Wage theft is the failure to pay workers the full wage amount to which they are entitled.  According to a recent report by the Economic Policy Institute, wage theft is a $15 billion problem in the United States.  Wage theft can take many forms such as failing to pay workers the legally required minimum wage, failing to pay overtime wages of time-and-one-half to nonexempt workers, off-the-clock violations, deducting for meal breaks an employee works through, making deductions from tipped employee…

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Court Rules That Prior Salary History Cannot Justify Paying a Woman Less

The fight for wage equality has advanced thanks to a recent court opinion, Rizo v. Fresno County Office of Education, which held that “prior salary alone or in combination with other factors cannot justify a wage differential.”  The math consultant who brought the court case argued that considering prior compensation when setting a worker’s pay perpetuates gender differences and is in conflict with the Equal Pay Act.  According to Pew Research Center study on median hourly wages, women earn on…

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Survey Says Floridians Want a Higher Minimum Wage

  A recent survey of Floridians by Credit Loan indicates that Floridians believe the ideal minimum wage would be $11.99. That’s $3.74 higher than the current Florida 2018 minimum wage of $8.25.  More than 2,600 Americans were surveyed and the finding were weighted against 2016 U.S. Census data. Florida’s minimum wage increased $0.15 in 2018 compared to the $8.10 minimum wage for 2017.  Florida’s minimum wage is recalculated yearly based on the Consumer Price Index. The federal minimum wage currently…

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Higher Florida Minimum Wage Starting in January 2017

 On January 1, 2017, the Florida minimum wage will increase by five cents ($0.05) from $8.05 to $8.10 per hour.  A covered employee who is paid the minimum wage would also be entitled to an overtime wage of at least $12.15 per hour.  As of January 1, 2017, tipped employees in Florida must be paid a direct wage of $5.08, which is equal to the $8.10 minimum wage minus a $3.02 tip credit, and an overtime wage of $9.13.  An employee…

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Overtime Wage Protection Expanded

The United States Department of Labor (DOL) has finalized a new overtime wage rule that requires employers to pay overtime wages to employees making less than $913 per week or $47,476 per year.  Employers would have to pay such employees time-and-a-half their regular hourly rate for any hours worked over forty (40) in a week.  In determining if an employee’s salary meets the $47,476 threshold amount, employers can inlcude bonuses and incentive payments such as commissions, up to 10% of…

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Expanded Overtime Wage Protection

Under a new United States Department of Labor (DOL) proposal to expand overtime wage protection, anyone making an annual salary of less than $50,440 automatically would be guaranteed overtime pay for hours worked over forty in a workweek. The overtime law requires covered employees to be paid time and one-half their regular rate for hours worked over forty in a workweek. This expanded overtime wage protection is a significant increase from the prior yearly salary threshold of $23,660, (which is…

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Manicure Industry Wage Theft

Many nail salons commit wage theft violations by not paying manicurist at least the minimum wage for hours worked, and by making illegal deductions from customer tips or wages.  (“The Price of Nails” New York Times, 5/7/15).   Manicure industry wage theft is common.  For example, nail salons often do not pay newly hired manicurists the required minimum wages for work.  While nail salon workers are usually considered “tipped employees” and paid a reduced minimum wage, salon owners often fail to make…

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