Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), tipped employees are employees who regularly earn at least $30 per month in tips. Ohio and federal law allows employers to pay tipped employees less than the standar minimum wage, as it is assumed that these employees will make up the difference in tips. Unfortunately, employers often take advantage of tipped employees in a number of ways, including miss calculating overtime pay, operating an illegal tip pool, or even misclassifying an employee as a tipped employee, and thereby paying them less, when the employee does not receive a substantial amount of their wages from tips. If your employer owes you compensation for work that you performed, the Dayton tipped employees attorneys at Coffman Legal, LLC can help you recover what you are owed.

Employer Wage Violations of Tipped Employees

Working for tips is difficult. You may give your best and come up with nothing after a stingy customer walks away without contributing a dime to your efforts. Tipped workers deserve a fair base salary, yet the federal minimum wage, and many state minimum wages, are lagging severely behind. In fact, the federal minimum wage for tipped workers is just $2.13 per hour, according to the Department of Labor, which has not changed in 30 years. In Ohio, the minimum wage for tipped workers is just $4.40, an impossible and downright insulting hourly wage for the hard work that virtually all tipped workers complete. On top of these injustices, many employers use various illegal tactics to further take advantage of their staff and increase their own profits. This is reflected in the financial struggles that tipped workers face—the poverty rate for tipped workers is twice that of non-tipped workers, according to the Economic Policy Institute. If any of the following examples have happened to you, your employer can be held liable for withheld wages and additional damages.

  • You were paid entirely in tips and did not receive a cash wage from your employer;
  • Your employer applied the wrong tip credit;
  • Your employer failed to pay overtime for hours in excess of 40 per workweek;
  • Your employer calculated overtime based on the tip credit wage, as opposed to the applicable minimum wage or your contractual hourly wage;
  • Your employer distributed tip pool funds among non-tipped employees;
  • Your employer makes unlawful deductions from your wages for things like breaking dishes, being short at the cash register, or for having dine and dash customers;
  • Your employer is using a tip credit that is too low (your wages plus tips do not add up to Ohio’s minimum wage); and
  • Your non-tipped duties, such as prepping tables or cleaning, add up to over 20 percent or time. Anything above this must be paid at the hourly minimum wage for non-tipped employees ($8.80 per hour).

Call a Dayton Tipped Employee Attorney

As a tipped worker, your employer is obligated to pay the minimum wage, use legal tip pools, fairly compensate you for non-tipped work, and never withhold your tips or wages for an unlawful reason. If you believe that your employer has violated your rights, contact the Dayton tipped employee attorneys at Coffman Legal, LLC today at 614-949-1181 to schedule a free consultation.

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