How much non-tipped labor is too much?
You're cut from tables. Now, you have two hours of sidework before you can leave.
It's one thing for your employer to pay you $4.90 per hour to serve tables. It's entirely an different for your employer to pay you the same rate to roll silverware, clean and stock and restock condiments, polish silverware and glassware, etc., while the restaurant is slow and/or for an hour or two after you're cut.
Don't let your employer fool you. They can't do this to you that without paying you more money.
Under the Department of Labor's Field Operations Handbook, which guides the FLSA, you are entitled to be paid the full minimum wage (rather than the low server rate) for ALL time spent performing this side work where this side work regularly exceeds 20% of your shift times.
It's monumentally unfair that many employers exploit the tip credit so they can pay their servers and bartenders next to nothing to perform menial, busy work for which they should receive AT LEAST the full minimum wage.
I think my employer required me to perform excess side work. What can I do?
The FLSA's remedies provisions contain strict prohibitions to discourage employers from directing employees to perform improper and excessive non-tipped labor. An employer found to have required such improper or excessive non-tipped labor owes you back pay for the full minimum wage (rather than the lower, tip-credit, server rate) for all time you spent performing such work.
If you prevail on your claim, you will be entitled to recover:
Back Pay (the unpaid wages owed to you);
An Additional Equal Amount of Back Pay (thus, totaling TWICE the amount of unpaid wages owed to you);
Attorney Fees & Costs incurred in pursuing your unpaid wages.
If you believe you have a claim, speak with an attorney immediately regarding your rights and options.
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