Restaurant Workers Overtime Pay Attorney

San Diego Labor Class Actions

California is synonymous with protecting the rights of workers. Recognizing that employees are essential for helping the economy to grow, the right to work and to be treated fairly are protected not only under federal laws but also under state laws. Unfortunately, there are many employers who attempt to take advantage of workers, particularly when it comes to paying overtime wages. When such violations occur, it is important to seek the help of a restaurant workers overtime pay attorney.

At Ferraro Vega San Diego Employment Lawyers, our team has the knowledge and experience you need to help fight for the compensation you may be owed. Our clients rely on appropriate wages to support themselves and their families. When employers try to take advantage of their hard work by attempting to circumvent the law, they risk much more than having to pay what their employee is owed. If your employer fails to pay you overtime, you don’t have to fight alone.

Complications of Overtime in the Restaurant Industry

Unlike other industries, the restaurant industry involves many complications that can make calculating overtime pay difficult. One of the more complicated factors is the involvement of tips.

Tips are used as an incentive for service industry employees, such as some restaurant workers, to provide appropriate customer service. While servers collect the tips from their tables, those tips are often distributed amongst a variety of employees who keep the restaurant functioning.

Restaurant Workers Overtime Pay Attorney

According to the federal Fair Labor and Standards Act, the federal minimum wage for non-exempt employees must be a minimum of $7.25 per hour. Even though the federal rate is $7.25, state law can require employees to be paid at a significantly higher rate. Whichever rate is larger is the rate at which employees must be paid. After 40 hours of work within one week, employees are entitled to a rate of pay equal to a minimum of one and one-half times the wage per hour.

California is one of the few states that pay tipped employees at a significantly higher rate than the federal minimum wage. According to state law, tipped employees in California must be paid the established state minimum wage of $16/hour, depending on the size of the company.

Tips and Overtime

Day Rate Workers Overtime Pay Attorney

If you earn tips as a part of your wage, you should understand how overtime is calculated to ensure that you are receiving fair compensation for your work. If you were to normally earn a minimum wage through compensation from your employer and not through tips, your overtime would be calculated in the following way in an example week of 50 hours at the rate of $16/hour:

  • The rate of pay for 50 hours would equal $800 without any additional overtime.
  • Because there are ten additional hours over the 40 used for a work week, the overtime pay is calculated on those ten hours at the rate of time and a half. With the ten hours already calculated at the normal rate, your additional overtime pay would be $16 divided by two and multiplied by ten, equaling $80.
  • Added to the already calculated wages of $800, the total would then be $880.

For those who earn tips in California, they are still entitled to the same overtime pay as those who do not earn tips. This means they are entitled to the same $880 for 50 hours of work in a one-week period. However, they are still entitled to their tips as well. An employer may not avoid paying overtime because they feel the employee has been compensated from tips instead.

Unfortunately, there are numerous employers who seek to avoid these payments strictly because of the tips their employees receive. They may feel it is unfair to others who do not qualify for tips that they should be compensated so highly.

However, the service industry relies on tipped employees in order to provide top customer service that will set their establishment apart from others. The tips they earn are a reflection of going above and beyond the normal course of work and they should be compensated for that work.

Restaurant Overtime Problems

Properly calculating overtime for restaurant workers is complicated enough. However, there are many other factors that can lead to issues with overtime wages for restaurant employees. Some of the more common problems include:

  • Tip miscalculations. The tips that you earn are yours to keep no matter what. The law forbids employers from withholding or altering tip amounts that are earned by employers. Even though employees are compensated in line with the state minimum wage, tips earned are considered hands off to employers.
  • Tip sharing. Some restaurants use tip sharing or tip pools that mean employees all contribute tips and then they are split. Service locations that use this style of compensation are forbidden from keeping any of the tips even if the employer compensates employees at the full minimum wage.
  • Deductions on paychecks. If your employer deducts wages from your check for things such as uniforms, cash shortages, or other allowable situations, they may only do so as long as it does not drop you below the minimum wage or reduces overtime pay.

These are just a few of the ways in which wages and tips could cause problems in your overtime payments. Other complications include circumstances of food credits or meal break deductions amongst others.

Restaurant Workers Overtime Pay Attorney

If you feel your restaurant employer has miscalculated your overtime wages, refused to pay you qualified overtime, or you feel other wage violations have taken place, get the help you deserve. After documenting the discrepancies and attempting to resolve them with management, be sure to find the legal representation that can help you recover what you may be owed.

Contact the attorneys at Ferraro Vega San Diego Employment Lawyers today. We have vast experience getting employees the restitution they are due from their employers. Our team can assist you with any labor issue you are experiencing. Contact us to set up a consultation so we can discuss the details of your situation.