Working in the service industry is incredibly stressful. People never know what to expect from day to day. Not only can overall work levels and, therefore, gratuities vary greatly, but the attitudes of customers can also be drastically different from one day to the next.
Service workers also often make less competitive wages than those in many other fields, as tipped employees may receive an hourly wage that is below the federal minimum hourly wage. Sometimes, those who work in the service industry find themselves dealing with a company that deprives them of fair wages.
There are many ways for a company to manipulate and reduce how much a worker earns, some of which are violations of employment laws. These are two of the most common ways that people in the service industry get denied the wages they deserve.
Inappropriate tip-pooling schemes
Service workers often do everything in their power to please their patrons and earn a good tip. Unfortunately, employers sometimes demand that tipped employees share what they make with others. In some cases, a certain amount of tip cooling is legal under Texas state law.
However, tip pooling might become illegal if it involves managers and owners demanding a share of their workers’ income or a requirement to tip out ineligible staff members, like dishwashers and janitors. Tip pooling is a frequent way for employers to deprive workers of the gratuities that they earned through their own labor.
Demands for off-the-clock work
Those in the service industry are almost always paid on an hourly basis, which means that they deserve pay for all the tasks that they perform and potentially overtime wages if they put in more than 40 hours in a single work week. Unfortunately, employers are often looking for ways to get as much as they can from their staff with as little compensation as possible.
Training workers so that they think they must do certain job responsibilities before clocking in or after they end their shifts is one relatively common form of wage theft that runs rampant in the service industry. No one should have to roll silverware, sweep bar floors or otherwise perform basic job responsibilities before or after their shift.
Service workers who recognize signs of potential wage theft may be in a position to file a claim against their employer. Fighting back against inappropriate wage and hour practices with the assistance of an experienced legal professional can both compensate the workers who have been affected and lead to better company practices that will benefit future employees.