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Minimum Wage Violations and Tip Pools

Employers must comply with both the federal minimum wage and the state minimum wage, where applicable. For example, in Florida and other states, there is a state minimum wage that is higher than the federal minimum wage. In those states, employers must pay no less than the state’s minimum wage.

When it comes to minimum wages (and overtime), it can be very costly for employers that do not follow the law. Bad business practices not only cost employees the correct amount of money they deserve, but it is also against the law. Some employers utilize the following tricks to cheat their workers: a) failing to combine hours for work at different locations, b) making illegal deductions from hours, or c) making an employee work “off the clock” aside from regular work hours and not credit that towards time worked.

There is another subset of minimum wage claims involving illegal tip pools or policies in the restaurant and bar industry. Many workers such as waiters, waitresses, bartenders, busboys, and food runners, rely on wages and tips to earn a living. Problems occur when employers do not properly apply “tip credits” to the $3.02 difference between the employee’s actual hourly wage and the minimum wage. Florida minimum wage law allows employers to take a tip credit of no more than the FLSA tip credit of $3.02 established in 2003. Under the Florida Constitution, Article X, §24, the employer’s tip credit cannot exceed $3.02.  As the minimum wage rises, the tip credit of $3.02 remains the same, while the direct wage to the tipped employee increases. If the hourly rate plus tips do not equal the minimum wage (which changes annually), the employer must make up the difference.

If you are involved in or employ a tip pool whereby tips are pooled and/or shared with other employees who do not directly serve customers, there may be a violation of federal or state law. A Wage and Hour lawyer like Todd W. Shulby can assist you in determining if the tip pool and/or practices being utilized are legal and valid.

Overtime and minimum wage employment lawyer Todd W. Shulby, P.A.  protects the rights of workers to ensure they receive just compensation and also defends businesses against lawsuits incorrectly claiming employees have not been paid in accordance with the law.

In addition to providing representation for cases involving minimum wage and overtime law in Florida, the Law Office of Todd W. Shulby also offers legal counsel and advice in cases involving unpaid wages, discrimination, retaliation and harassment.

If you have a dispute involving minimum wage and overtime law in Florida, call the law office today and schedule a consultation.