To provide for their families, many employees work in restaurants as servers. These workers acknowledge that they will be paid a lower wage per hour, but they will also receive money in tips. If Texas workers are performing duties that do not allow them to earn tips, but they are still paid the same low server wage, the company may be in violation of wage and hour laws and the Fair Labor Standards Act.
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.
Government laws and regulations exist to protect workers from an employer's failure to pay wages earned and due. When a Texas employee does not receive his or her rightful compensation, he or she may have fears of losing a job or of retaliation in another form. The fear of losing additional pay may be difficult for many people to overcome and still find the courage to file a complaint for an employer's failure to pay wages earned and due.
The law is designed to protect the less empowered members of society from being taken advantage of. This is especially important in the workplace where there is an inherent power structure which favors the employer over the employee. Companies in Texas and other states who break these laws could find themselves facing some costly legal consequences. One company that may have done this recently settled a dispute over alleged violations of wage and hour laws.
A section of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) enables certain employers to acquire specialized minimum wage certificates which enable them to pay disabled workers below the minimum wage with no limit to how low they go. The FLSA, which was passed in 1938, still provides a great service and a means of protection for workers in The United States, but that section of the law -- Section 14 (c) -- enabled one organization to pay disabled workers in Texas hourly wages that were less than 10 cents per hour. This was in 2011, not the 1930s.
A Houston area Chinese restaurant was ordered to pay its cooks back pay totaling $106,573 after labor law violations were discovered. According to a recent news release, the restaurant only paid its cooks a set salary without regard to the actual number of hours worked. The long hours worked resulted in wages that came out to less than the Texas minimum wage amount of $7.25. The release noted that employees at the restaurant normally worked up to 66 hours per week.
Just last week, we discussed the movement here in Texas for a higher minimum wage. While many people think that employers in San Antonio and throughout the state should pay workers more, it is also imperative to hold employers accountable for complying with existing wage and hour laws.
A Double Tree hotel in Richardson, Texas has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor for violating federal wage and hour laws. After an investigation into the hotel, the Department of Labor determined that the hotel violated the Fair Labor Standards Act, with specific violations regarding minimum wage, overtime pay and financial bookkeeping.
Charitable organization Goodwill has been accused of underpaying disabled employees, according to recent calls for a boycott initiated by the National Federation of the Blind. A spokesperson for the disability rights group says that Goodwill and many other organizations are taking advantage of a loophole in the Fair Labor Standards Act that provides for an exemption from the federal minimum wage.
A Texas woman's employment discrimination case has gained national attention as the 5th circuit appeals court prepares to determine the boundaries of pregnancy discrimination. The question in this case is whether lactation is a "pregnancy-related condition" within the meaning of the amended version of Title VII of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978.