Recently, a popular sports bar chain agreed to pay millions of dollars to settle a wage and hour claim. The back wage lawsuit arose as the result of the bar’s improperly withholding tips from waiters and bartenders. Additionally, the lawsuit alleged that “Chickie’s & Pete’s,” violated minimum wage and overtime pay laws.
Overtime pay and minimum wage laws provided by federal law in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) may be confusing. If you have questions about your pay and whether you are receiving all the compensation you deserve, it is a good idea to consult with an experienced Atlanta wage and hour attorney right away. Often, if you have been deprived all the wages you deserve, other employees may have been denied appropriate pay as well. A knowledgeable Atlanta wage and hour lawyer can begin an investigation into your situation and provide you important advice concerning your next steps.
In the recent case – 1159 restaurant workers asserted that the sports bar violated the FLSA in several different ways. First, the chain allegedly violated rules relating to tips credits. In fact, this was one of the largest cases ever brought based on violations of tip laws. Currently, federal law requires that restaurant owners pay tipped employees a minimum of $2.13 an hour. This plus tips must equal federal minimum wage ($7.25). If an employee’s wages don’t equal minimum wage, the restaurant is legally required to contribute enough to make up the difference. Here, the lawsuit alleged that Chickie’s & Pete’s failed to meet the minimum wage requirements, sometimes not paying the initial $2.13 an hour and often not adding in the additional pay required to meet minimum wage. Also, the lawsuit claimed that the bar also failed to pay the workers time and a half when they put in more than 40 hours in a workweek.