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Buffalo Wild Wings accused of failure to pay minimum wage

A company's failure to pay minimum wage can financially damage an employee and leave them confused and angry. A Texas worker in the restaurant industry may be confused by their own hourly pay and tip combination and can seek help in understanding their rights. Recently, Buffalo Wild Wings was accused of the failure to pay minimum wage to its waitstaff and is facing a lawsuit.

A former waitress of the national food chain recently made the decision to pursue the company for what she believed to be inappropriate job duties beyond her position and without minimum wage compensation. The accusations focus on the unique circumstances under which the waitstaff is compensated. Restaurant owners are permitted to pay their tip-based employees less than minimum wage as long as they make a certain amount in tip earnings monthly.

The suit claims that the waitstaff was required to perform additional duties in the restaurant beyond their ability to make tips, which should have required minimum wage compensation. The duties included cleaning and trash removal, as well as cleaning dishes. The worker seeks compensation at the minimum wage for the three year time period in which she was employed and required to execute additional work beyond her job description.

Although employers may benefit from additional labor from the waitstaff at a reduced cost for the company, some people question if it is proper to force a tipped employee to perform duties that will keep them from earning their minimum wage. Some wait staff may feel they have become victimized by their employer's failure to pay minimum wage through duties their employer has required them to perform for which they lose the opportunity to earn tips. A Texas waiter who has suffered the inability to earn their rightful pay through the actions or decisions of their employer may gain by seeking help in pursuing the compensation to which they believe they are due.

Source: mlive.com, "Buffalo Wild Wings owners accused in lawsuit of stiffing waitstaff, others on minimum wage pay", Gary Ridley, April 25, 2014

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