Although the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to pay their workers a minimum hourly wage, employees who earn tips can legally be paid a much lower minimum wage. This is because the law assumes the employees are making up the extra wages in tips, but when that’s not the case, the employer is required to make up the difference.
According to a recent wage and hour class action lawsuit, Logan’s Roadhouse Inc. allegedly underpaid its servers by requiring them to work off the clock, perform too much side work, declare tips they did not receive, and transferred tips to subsequent weeks to satisfy tip requirements.
Side work is often included as part of a server’s job responsibilities. It consists of work for which the servers do not receive tips, including opening and closing duties, cleaning, stocking supplies, etc. Under the relevant labor law, tipped employees can spend no more than 20% of their time performing side work. Any more than that, and they are entitled to be paid the full minimum wage.
Declaring the amount a server earned in tips is also standard practice to provide proof that the server was paid at least the full minimum wage through the combination of wages and tips. However, declaring tips that a server was never actually paid is illegal.
Likewise, transferring tips to pay periods in which they were not earned is also illegal. It allows the employer to require the employer to work without pay, while making it look as though the employee has been compensated for that time.
When companies take on new employees, it is expected that the company will pay the new employees for the time spent in training. It is time that is required by the employer, and ultimately benefits the employer by teaching new workers to perform their job to the employer’s satisfaction. According to the class action lawsuit, Logan’s Roadhouse allegedly failed to pay its servers for the time they spent in training.
Under the federal FLSA, all hourly workers are entitled to one and one-half times their normal hourly rate for all overtime worked. Overtime is defined as any time spent working after eight hours a day or forty hours a week.
According to the recent wage and hour lawsuit, Logan’s Roadhouse allegedly required its servers to work overtime without paying them the proper overtime compensation. One of the ways they did this allegedly included transferring tips from other pay periods to make it look as though the servers had been paid for their overtime.
The lawsuit is seeking unpaid compensation, plus damages, prejudgment interest, attorneys’ fees and costs, and injunctive relief for all non-exempt employees who worked at the restaurant chain during the last three years. Injunctive relief is provided when a court orders an injunction against the defendant participating in the illegal behavior in the future. Logan’s Roadhouse denies all of the claims.
The motion for class certification proposes notifying class members of their right to join the class by posting information about the lawsuit at restaurants and including it in employee paychecks.
The Chicago class action lawyers at the Chicago Overtime Law Center are investigating unpaid overtime claims by waiters and bus boys and other restaurant and hotel workers against national restaurant chains including Hilton, W, Marriott, Sheraton, Holiday Inn, Best Western, Chipotle, Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Outback Steak House, Logan’s Road House, Taco Bell, Burger King, Wendy’s and hotels for mis-classifying employees as managers or assistant managers, forcing employees to work off the clock at business, failing to share all tips, erasing or altering time sheets or time records, pressuring workers not to report or record overtime, and otherwise failing to pay workers for overtime and other wages. If you are the victim these wage theft practices call us at (312) 869-4095 or contact us online.
The Chicago class action attorneys at the Chicago Overtime Law Center have three decades of experience fighting to help employees who are victims of wage, overtime and tip theft by their employers. We have a team of Chicago unpaid overtime lawyers who concentrate on prosecuting state and nationwide class action lawsuits. Our attorneys work out of Chicago and Oak Brook offices and pursue claims for workers all over the Chicago area including Des Plaines, Park Ridge and Mt. Prospect. We protect unpaid workers who haven’t received overtime throughout the Chicago area including in DuPage, Lake, McHenry, Kane and Cook Counties.
Our Rolling Meadows and Arlington Hts. overtime lawyers are intimately familiar with the issues that arise during wage claim litigation, and we know the laws that govern overtime cases well. Many employers mis-classify employees as being exempt from overtime laws and pay workers salaries instead of hourly wages in order to avoid paying them overtime. Some employers mistakenly classify employees as exempt and others intentionally do so in order to circumvent the law. In either case, workers do not receive the wages they should, and a lawsuit may be the only way to recover their earned wages.
The Chicago Overtime Law Center is based in Chicago, and represents clients throughout the country who have unpaid overtime and other employment right claims.