Paramus, NJ Restaurant Workers Unpaid Wages Attorney
Restaurant workers and service industry employees are often subject to wage and hour violations by their employers. Most employees who are tipped receive less than $8.44 which is the standard minimum wage amount in New Jersey. On a federal level, employers in New Jersey must comply with the guidelines and regulations of the Fair Labor and Standards Act (FLSA). They must also engage in business practices that are consistent with the regulations contained in the applicable New Jersey statute N.J.S.A. 34:11-56a et seq. If you believe that your employer has violated a wage provision of the FLSA, consult with a Paramus, New Jersey restaurant workers’ unpaid wages attorney at the Law Office of Usmaan Sleemi to receive an honest assessment of your potential claim.
Common Employer Wage Law Violations
Often times, wage law violations by employers can easily fly under the radar. If employees are not aware of their legal rights in the workplace, they may let unfair business practices slide because they do not know any better. Some common employer wage law violations include:
- Failure to compensate employees for all hours worked
- Taking tips from employees other than those directed by a tip polling policy whereas employees may be required to share tips with other service workers in the company
- Failure to pay for employee uniforms that contain a company logo or cannot be worn as street wear
- Calculating minimum wage using the federal standard ($7.25) rather than the New Jersey standard ($8.44) which was put into effect in January 2017
- Miscalculating overtime pay ($8.44 x 1.5)
- Claiming tip credits than exceed $6.31
- Failure to provide notice to employees of tip pooling and tip credit deduction policies
What is the Policy for Tip Pooling and Dual Jobs?
The practice of tip pooling, or tip sharing, is legal so long as tips are shared with employees who customarily and regularly receive tips. Employees must be given notice of a tip pooling arrangement before it can be implemented as part of employment. A valid tip pool policy does not involve tip sharing with workers such as dishwashers, janitors, chefs, managers, etc. because these types of jobs do not ordinarily receive tips. In the restaurant business, these types of employees would include:
There are instances where tipped employees are expected to complete a dual job or a side job as part of their employment duties. Federal law dictates that if side jobs take up more than 20% of an employee’s time, then the tip credit will only apply to hours worked in the tipped occupation.
How are Wages Calculated for Restaurant Workers in New Jersey?
New Jersey law defines a “tipped employee” as someone who regularly and customarily receives more than $30 per month in tips. As previously stated, the standard minimum wage for employees in New Jersey is $8.44. New Jersey, along with 25 other states, implements a policy whereby employers must pay tipped employees a minimum cash wage above the minimum cash wage that is required by the FLSA. Thus, employers in New Jersey can pay their employees a minimum of $2.13 per hour so long as employees are being paid $8.44 an hour in tips. Employers can claim a maximum of $6.31 per hour in tip credits, which is the difference between $8.44 and $2.13. Employers must provide employees with notice if the intend to claim tip credits.
If an employer fails to provide employees with information regarding tip credits pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Section 3(m), then employees must be paid at least $8.44 per hour in addition to allowing employees to keep all tips received.
Paramus, New Jersey Restaurant Workers Unpaid Wages Attorney
Restaurant employees whose employers are in violation of state and federal wage laws can find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place if their wages are mishandled. Some restaurants do not have formal human resources departments, which can make it difficult for employees to know where to go to file claims. Filing a wage violation claim can be a complicated and tedious process. Retaining legal services from a skilled Paramus, New Jersey employment lawyer can help save you time and money, and you can be placed in a better position to be justly compensated for your financial losses.
You deserve to be properly paid for the work you have completed without feeling like you were taken advantage of or cheated. It is an employer’s job to comply with all state and federal regulations regarding employee wages. A Paramus, New Jersey restaurant workers’ unpaid wages attorney at the Law Office of Usmaan Sleemi is here to help. If you believe that your employer engaged in state and/or federal wage violations, call the Law Office of Usmaan Sleemi today at (201) 345-3446 and schedule a free and confidential consultation.