Some employees may lack the confidence or desire to confront their place of business when their wages do not match their hours worked for many reasons. However, failure to pay minimum wage is illegal in many places and has a negative effect on the company and employees involved. Recently, a Texas restaurant was ordered to provide $800,000 in restitution for failure to pay minimum wage to employees.
The U.S. Department of Labor conducted an investigation that resulted in the discovery of minimum wage compensation violation and inappropriate record-keeping. The steak house had purportedly broken the Fair Labor Standards Act through a shared tip program, which was illegal. A total of 279 servers, which includes past and present staff, are to be compensated for the theft of wages earned.
In a recent report, an official from the Wage and Hour Division highlighted the necessity to protect vulnerable employees in the restaurant industry who may have a low rate of pay and could be easily taken advantage of. The investigation discovered that the restaurant may have been using money from the shared tipping program to purchase business and marketing items. The company is also accused of withholding compensation for staff infractions and to cover the cost of mandatory work attire.
When failure to pay minimum wage to an employee occurs in Texas, staff can suffer financial hardships and personal feelings of inadequacy. Fear of retaliation or loss of a position may be difficult to overcome before speaking out against an employer. A victim of wage theft may seek professional help in collecting the rightful compensation that has been illegally withheld.
Source: newschannel10.com, "Big Texan Restaurant To Pay $800,000 Following U.S. Department Of Labor Investigation", , June 23, 2014