Unpaid Wages of Resident Motel Managers

Innkeepers, apartment, and motel managers who live on the property they manage frequently are paid below the minimum wage and denied overtime pay.  Motel owners frequently employ individuals or couples to manage small motels and provide a “free” room.  Often times, however, the free lodging is not provided for the convenience of the employee, but rather for the benefit of the owner.  Motel managers and innkeepers frequently work seven days per week, from early morning until late at night. They also may be…

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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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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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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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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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The Department of Labor has proposed a new rule that would extend minimum wage and overtime protections to home care workers. Currently, home care workers are exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act because these workers are considered “companions.” Advocates for a change to the law argue that the companionship exemption from overtime improperly puts home care workers, many of whom care for the sick and elderly, into the same category as babysitters. There are approximately two million home care…

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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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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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