Overtime and minimum-wage violations are more common than most people realize, and tipped workers can be especially vulnerable to this type of injustice.
If you receive tips for waiting tables, mixing drinks, parking cars, cleaning hotel rooms or providing another service, it is important that you understand your rights as a tipped employee.
Minimum Wage and Overtime Requirements for Tipped Employees
In Texas, the state minimum wage is the same as the federal minimum wage -- $7.25 an hour. But Texas employers are allowed to pay tipped workers as little as $2.13 an hour, as long as the employee's tips bring the total wages up to at least $7.25 an hour.
If tips do not bring the employee's wages up to $7.25 an hour, the employer is responsible for paying the difference. Employers are also responsible for ensuring that overtime pay -- 1.5 times the regular hourly rate -- is paid for every hour worked over 40 in a single week.
Restaurants and other employers of tipped workers are known for violating state and federal employment laws.
Here are some violations to be aware of:
- Requiring you to clock in as a tipped worker when the task you perform is not part of your tipped job
- Requiring you to spend a significant portion of your work time on side work that does not produce tips
- Requiring you to attend mandatory training sessions while off the clock
- Subtracting, skimming or otherwise stealing tips from your tip pool
- Failing to pay time-and-a-half for hours worked over 40 in a single week
Why You Need an Experienced Employment Lawyer on Your Side
The reality is that many tipped employees are not aware of their rights -- and not aware that their employers are cheating them. If you have questions about wage-and-hour laws and overtime pay, don't hesitate to contact an experienced employment law attorney.
While state and federal agencies are in charge of enforcing wage-and-hour laws, these agencies are generally understaffed and underpaid. After receiving complaints about wage-and-hour violations, state and federal agencies often advise employees to contact a lawyer to get the best possible results.
For more on these matters, please see myovertimerights.com.