There are federal and state laws in place that set the minimum wage. These are wages that must be paid to workers while they are doing their job. If your employer isn’t properly paying you, then you can file a complaint against them. They can face legal penalties and fines, and they will have to pay you the compensation that you are owed for your work.
Federal minimum wage, as of 2019, is $7.25 per hour. However, the state minimum wage may require employers in some states to pay even more. State minimum wage varies significantly from one state to another. Employees are entitled to the higher wage – whether it is the state or the federal minimum wage. When you are seeking employment, you should check your state laws and determine the minimum wage as it is required in your state.
When you are working in a job where you receive tips, your pay can become more complicated. Industries in which tipping is the main source of income, such as restaurant wait staff, require only $2.13 per hour for minimum wage. However, if the $2.13 per hour plus the tips don’t average out to minimum wage, the employer is required to make up the difference and make sure that the employee receives $7.25 per hour for his or her work.
This means that tips must be kept track of, and you will need to report your tips to your employer, or they will keep track of them for you to make sure that you at least make minimum wage for your work duties. This will help them determine how much – if any – they should add onto your paycheck that they give you so they can ensure that you receive at least minimum wage for every hour you worked that week.
Tip pooling happens when employees agree to pool tips and split them evenly. This is sometimes the policy of the employer, such as a certain restaurant or a restaurant chain. When tip pooling happens, all the waitresses and staff will turn their tips in, and those tips are then divided amongst the appropriate people who worked during that shift. Tip pooling can involve servers, hostesses and bussers. On occasion, other employees may be included.
When you are hired for a job, you should discuss tips, minimum wage, and tip pooling. You need to be familiar with the payment processes and understand your responsibilities as far as determining if you are paid minimum wage. Tip pooling is just like any other tips and your percentage is added onto your hourly rate of $2.13 to determine if you are paid at least minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. If your totals don’t add up to minimum wage, you should notify your employer so they can make up the difference and ensure you are paid fairly.
Also, another thing with tip pooling is that the company or employer cannot take a percentage of your tips. Instead, all the tips that are pooled together must go to the employees. As the agreement or policy reads, all the included employees will pool their tips together and then they will be divided equally among them. It is illegal for the company or employer to take or withhold a portion of your tips when tip pooling is done.
Speak With An Employment Law Attorney
If you are working for a company that doesn’t pay you minimum wage, then you should speak with an employment law attorney who handles wage theft cases in your state. With the help of a lawyer, you are much more likely to recover compensation for your damages. An attorney will gather supporting evidence and documentation to show that you aren’t being fairly compensated for your time worked.
While many wage theft attorneys work on a contingency basis, which means that they aren’t paid until you win your case, there are some who use other approaches and have set fee schedules. You should go over the pay and the process when you retain a lawyer for your wage theft case. There is a statute of limitations for pursuing a wage theft claim, so you’d better get your claim started before time runs out.
Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page so an attorney in your area can review the details of your case and determine the best way to proceed with your wage theft claim against your employer.