Lawyers Fighting For Tipped Employees
Our Ohio wage law attorneys support you
Are you employed in the hospitality or food service industry? Are you a waiter, busser, server, bar tender, or anyone else who customarily receives tips? Are you required to share tips with managers or supervisors? Do you do more than one distinct job, one of which generates tips but the other doesn't? Do you get paid wage in addition to your tips, or does your employer require you to survive on tips alone?
If any of these questions resonate with you, then contact Nilges Draher LLC. A member of our legal team will evaluate your particular situation at no charge to determine whether you're being paid properly. Our experienced Ohio wage law attorneys can help.
Common wage and hour violations
For employees who customarily receive tips, employers are permitted to take a partial exemption to the typical minimum wage requirements. However, the burden is on the employer to ensure all statutory elements of the exemption are met. If properly applied, an employer can pay you half the lawful minimum wage, and take a "credit" for the remaining amount up to the lawful minimum wage.
The minimum wage is presently $8.55 per hour in Ohio. So, if proper, the employer could pay you only $4.30 per hour, so long as you make an additional amount in tips to cover the remaining half. But if you do not receive that much in tips, the employer should be making up the difference in wages they pay you.
Common violations involving tipped employees include:
- Simply not paying the legally required minimum wage for tipped workers.
- Withholding tips from tipped workers.
- Not paying the correct overtime hourly rate or not paying overtime at all.
- Requiring tip sharing with management, supervisors or other employees who do not customarily receive tips.
- Tip pooling that does not satisfy the statutory requirements for pooling.
- Employers taking a tip-credit for work that is sufficiently distinguishable from tip-generating work in both the nature and time of the work performed.
Industries involving tipped work are rife with violations, and unfortunately, rife with employers who seek to gain a competitive edge against their competition who might be otherwise complying with the law. Also, remember that even most non-citizens are entitled to the protections of Ohio and federal wage and hour laws. It's a matter of getting the fair and lawful compensation for your hard day's work.
Whatever type of wage and hour violation you're dealing with, get straight answers as soon as possible. Wage and hour claims are typically subject to a two-year statute of limitations, which is only extended to three years under certain circumstances. The sooner you contact us and talk to a lawyer at our firm to learn more about your legal rights, the better.
How our law firm can help you
Employers commonly blame the employee for underpaid wages. Your employer very likely already has legal counsel. In all likelihood, the employer is in a superior bargaining position than you, especially if you work in an industry largely driven by tips. Poor documentation, otherwise required by law, is also a common problem in these industries - and the employer will use it as an excuse. (The legal reality is that if your employer fails to keep proper records, the employee is entitled to a reasonable estimate.)
We can help you level the playing field. We can carefully evaluate your situation, and if appropriate, power forward with a lawsuit. A few bucks or cents taken from you add up nicely for the employer who's cheating 10, 30, 100 or more other tipped employees out of all the wages to which the employees are entitled. The law recognizes this, and that's why employees are expressly granted the right to bring collective actions for themselves and on behalf of other similarly situated employees.
An experienced wage law attorney can help. Simply schedule your free case evaluation with our firm today.