Do You Know Your Tip Wage Law Rights?
Whether you work in a hotel, a restaurant, a bar, or as a valet, chances are you’re here because much of your income depends on tips. But what happens when people are tipping light that month? What if you’re making barely anything at all?
You can’t be expected to get by on the federal minimum tip wage of $2.13 per hour, can you?
There are laws in place to protect you, ensuring you are paid a minimum wage within the boundaries of state and federal law. However, when an employer chooses to disregard these regulations and break the law, it may be time to seek qualified legal counsel.
How Minimum Wage Works for Tipped Employees
Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers are allowed to pay tipped employees a minimum wage of $2.13 per hour. Although the minimum wage for tipped employees in most states is much higher, in some instances, it may be less than the standard federal minimum wage ($7.25 per hour).
In spite of this, all employers in the United States are required to pay the difference if an employee’s tips and wage do not total out to be greater than the state or federal minimum wage – whichever is higher – at the end of a pay period.
For instance, if a tipped employee works a 40 hour week and makes an average of $5.25 per hour, it is the employer’s responsibility to pay the difference, bringing the employee’s hourly wage for that week to the minimum requirement of $7.25 per hour (or more, depending on the state).
In certain states, the law does not allow employers to pay tipped employees at a lower minimum wage, which is why it is important to research your local minimum wage laws when accepting any job.
What to do if You’re an Underpaid Tipped Employee?
If your employer is withholding tips or refusing to pay you the difference required to satisfy minimum wage regulations, they are breaking the law. When your employee rights have been violated, you are entitled to pursue compensation.
Our team understands how stressful it can be to chase after tips and wages you already earned. When you work with our lawyers, we’ll evaluate your situation and determine which of your rights have been violated, as well as an appropriate course of action that accounts for your state’s tip and wage laws.
There will never be a charge when you have our lawyers represent you in your employment law claim. Our attorneys only get paid when you do, and the law requires your employer to cover court costs and legal fees if you prevail in your case. If you don’t prevail, you won’t pay anything.