Tipped Employees Unpaid Overtime Attorney
Texas Hotel and Restaurant Workers Overtime Attorney
Do you work in a restaurant or a hotel? Do you suspect that your employer may not be fully compensating you for all of the time you’ve worked? If so, the overtime and wage-claim attorneys of Leichter Law Firm PC are prepared to help you get the full and fair compensation that you earned through your hard work. Violations involving overtime hours, recordkeeping, and misclassification often prevent employees like you from getting what you deserve.
Don’t let your employer get away with paying you less than what you earned. You work hard for your paycheck, and the experienced Texas hotel and restaurant worker overtime lawyers at Leichter Law Firm PC are ready to get you the compensation that you are due. Contact us at 1-833-OT-WAGES or fill out a contact form on our site to schedule a confidential consultation with us today.
Tipped Employees FAQs
It is not unusual for employees to be unsure about their employer’s overtime policies. It is possible that you may not know if you are even eligible to collect overtime. If you have questions about your status or if you feel that your employer has been cheating you out of overtime pay that you are owed, contact Leichter Law Firm PC right away. We have provided the answers to a few frequently asked questions to hopefully help you better understand your rights below.
How do I know if I’m entitled to overtime?
There are two specific categories of employees: exempt and non-exempt. Exempt employees, due to the nature of their jobs, are not eligible to collect overtime. These employees are usually in the executive or administrative ranks, are considered to be highly compensated employees, hold outside sales positions, or have other professional exemptions. The burden is on the employer to prove that the employee belongs in one of these classes. Otherwise, you are likely eligible to collect overtime pay.
Why Didn’t My Employer Pay Me Overtime Wages?
There are many reasons why an employer may fail to pay proper overtime wages to eligible employees. Sometimes, they will misclassify employees as exempt when they are not, intentionally or unintentionally. Other times, inaccurate record-keeping will not indicate hours that the employee worked over the standard 40-hour workweek. Regardless of whether the violation was intentional or unintentional, an employer could be held accountable for failing to pay overtime wages. They will likely be required to pay back overtime wages owed to employees like you, and may even be forced to pay additional compensation as a punishment for their actions.
Do I Need A Lawyer To Represent Me?
Simple answer: Yes. While you could potentially pursue an overtime claim against your employer by yourself, you run the risk of losing your case and getting nothing at all for your efforts. An experienced overtime wage claim lawyer will know how to investigate your claim, gather relevant evidence, consult with experts, and build the strongest case possible on your behalf. You are more likely to recover the overtime wages that you are owed if you have knowledgeable legal counsel on your side.
The law generally requires that all workers are entitled to minimum wage and overtime pay. Employers in the Hotel and Restaurant Industry often violate the law by paying workers below minimum wage (currently $7.25 per hour) for all hours worked and failing to pay time-and-one-half for all hours over 40 worked in a week. The most common violations are requiring employees to:
- Begin working before their shift starts.
- Continue working after their shift ends.
- Work during breaks and meal periods.
Tipped Employee Violations
A worker is considered a tipped employee if “he or she customarily and regularly receives more than $30 per month in tips.” Tipped employees usually include waiters, servers, counter personnel, bussers, service bartenders, and hotel bellhops. Federal law requires that an employer of a tipped employee pay them a minimum of $2.13 per hour in direct wages. It is also required that those wages combined with tips pay the employee at least minimum wage (currently $7.25 per hour). The difference between the $2.13 minimum hourly rate and federal minimum wage is called a “tip credit.” When the $2.13 minimum hourly rate combined with the employee’s tips is less than $7.25, the employer must provide the employee with the difference out of pocket. In addition, the employer may require that a portion of the employee’s tips enter into a “tip pool” so that they can distribute tips one person receives to other employees. However, to be legal, the tips may be shared only with certain other employees.
Violations of Minimum and Overtime Wage Laws
It is common for employers to violate minimum wage and overtime laws when paying tipped employees. Common violations include:
- Not providing workers with a paycheck. Some employers do not pay wages and their servers work solely for tips. This practice violates the FLSA.
- Failing to provide a minimum wage. Your employer is never allowed to pay you less than the minimum wage, even if you have a slow shift.
- Requiring you to share tips with employees who do not customarily receive tips. Your employer can require you to share tips with servers, counter personnel, bellhops, bussers, and service bartenders. However, they cannot require you to share tips with managers, dishwashers, cooks, chefs, or janitors.
- Requiring you to give a portion of your tips to the employer. An employer cannot legally keep any portion of your tips for personal gain.
- Not paying overtime for hours worked over 40 in a workweek or only paying time-and-a-half of the server rate and not the full minimum wage. In other words, unless your state has a minimum wage higher than the federal minimum wage, your employer must pay you at least $10.88 for each overtime hour you work.
- Requiring you to work off the clock. An employer may not require you to do any work without pay.
If you work as a tipped employee and your employer has committed any of the violations listed above, speak with a qualified overtime pay attorney today.
Our Board Certified Employment Law Specialist can help you determine whether you are entitled to compensation for minimum wage or overtime violations. You may also receive additional money for liquidated damages, attorney’s fees, and other costs.
Contact a Hotel and Restaurant Workers Overtime Attorney
To find out more about what an employment law attorney can do for you, consult with an unpaid overtime lawyer at the Leichter Law Firm PC. Our team is dedicated to helping you receive the money you worked hard to earn. Call us at 1-833-OT-WAGES to discuss your legal options.