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Tipped Employees

Florida Restaurant Industry Wage Violations Are Common

Tip theft, minimum wage, and overtime violations are common in the restaurant industry according to a recent investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor.  The Sun-Sentinel interviewed attorney Peter Bober of Bober & Bober, P.A. about wage violations involving restaurant industry employees. To learn more about the ways that restaurant employers violate the wage laws, read the article below.

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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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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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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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Florida Minimum Wage Increases to $8.05

Effective January 1, 2015, the Florida minimum wage will increase from $7.93 to $8.05 per hour. The increase is required by a Florida constitutional amendment establishing a minimum wage for the state, and requiring that the minimum wage be adjusted based on inflation and the Consumer Price Index. The increased minimum wages for 2015 also applies to tipped employees. Tipped employees must receive a direct wage of at least $5.03 per hour, in addition to tips received. In order for…

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Exotic Dancers Win Minimum Wage Lawsuit

A court has determined that exotic dancers who performed at Rick’s Cabaret, an adult nightclub in New York, were employees covered by federal and state wage laws. A class action consisting of strippers sued the night club where they worked for unpaid minimum wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and New York wage laws. The gentlemen’s club did not pay the dancers any wages, took a portion of the dancers’ performance fees, and imposed fines if the dancers…

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Illegal Deductions from Employee Wages

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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Florida Minimum Wage Increases to $7.67

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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Case Alleges Illegal Tip Pool at Sonny’s Real Pit Bar-B-Q

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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