Some employers try to deduct money from employee wages to cover their overhead, which the employer should be responsible for paying. For example, a business may try to deduct money from a server’s tips for such expenses as uniforms, register shortages, walk-outs, returned food, broken plates, or damaged property. If such deductions cause a worker’s hourly wage to fall below the applicable minimum wage, the deduction may be illegal. These improper deductions often occur in the hospitality industry where restaurant…

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On January 1, 2012, the Florida minimum wage increased by 36 cents to $7.67 per hour. In 2011, the Florida minimum wage was $7.25 until June 2011 when it increased to $7.31. The 2012 increase is equivalent to an extra $14.40 per week for an employee who works 40 hours and earns the minimum wage. For tipped employees, the current Florida minimum wage requires employers to pay tipped employees an hourly direct wage of $4.65. The federal minimum wage remains…

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A former server at South Florida Barbeque, Inc., doing business as Sonny’s Real Pit Bar-B-Q, has filed a case in court seeking to bring a class action for alleged tip theft. Like many restaurants, Sonny’s takes a “tip credit,” and pays its servers $3.02 less than the Florida minimum wage. The server in that case claims Sonny’s maintained an illegal tip pool by using server tips to supplement the wages of non-tipped employees such as dishwashers, salad preparers, and managers…

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The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently handed down a decision, Polycarpe v. E&S Landscaping Services, Inc., which rejected the argument by several employers that they were not a covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as an enterprise because their business were local in nature. The businesses at issue performed landscaping, construction work, alarm system installation, or shutter installation. The Polycarpe decision reversed a number of trial courts that had erroneously restricted FLSA coverage. It essentially put the…

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All covered employees, whether working legally or illegally, and regardless of his or her immigration status, are entitled to be paid the minimum wage and overtime. Wage theft from undocumented workers is common, especially in workplaces such as construction sites, nail salons, and restaurants that are largely staffed by immigrant workers. The Fair Labor Standards Act prohibits employers from retaliating against their employees for asserting their right to their wages. Threats to turn over employees to U.S. Immigration and Customs…

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On July 24, 2009, the federal minimum wage increased to $7.25. This increase has taken place incrementally over a two year period. State and local governments can require higher wages be paid to employees within their boundaries. Since Florida’s minimum wage was less than $7.25 per hour, the new hirer federal minimum wage will have the effect of increasing the Florida minimum to $7.25 per hour until the next annual increase in the Florida minimum wage when it adjusted for…

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