As part of the Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) continued focus on restaurant employees, a chain of three restaurants in New York have been ordered to pay over $1,000,000 in back wages including minimum wage and overtime. The DOL’s investigators found that the restaurant employees employed as servers and kitchen staff were not paid wages of at least hourly minimum wage and not paid proper compensation for overtime. The investigation also revealed that the restaurants kept inaccurate and incomplete records pay and hours of the employees.
Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), restaurant employees must be compensated at least minimum wage of $7.25 per hour and one and one-half times this rate for overtime hours – all hours over 40 in a workweek. Under the FLSA, restaurants are also allowed to pay tipped workers $2.13 per hour plus tips. However, their tips must be high enough to allow the workers to make at least $7.25 per hour.
Restaurant employees are regularly underpaid for their work and their recovery under the FLSA can be substantial. Restaurant employees (servers, waiters/waitresses, hosts/hostesses, bartenders, bussers, barbacks, kitchen staff, etc.) can learn about their rights to pay under the FLSA by contacting Atlanta overtime attorneys.