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.
In the aftermath of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, many employers have the upper hand in labor disputes with their employees and any unions they may be affiliated with. At the same time, it appears that both the number of unions and the membership of unions are on the decline. What does this all mean? When it comes time for collective bargaining, or if another sort of contract or labor dispute arises, employers are more than willing to lock out their employees and simply wait.
Wage and hour disputes have increased almost every year since the beginning of the new millennium, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. On March 31 -- the year-end date for the most recent statistical period -- there 7,064 federal wage and hour cases. That's nearly four times the amount of cases in 2000, when there were 1,854 such cases.
There are certain rights that you have as an employee that should not be infringed upon, and one of the most important of these is your right to fair and equitable wages. Your pay cannot be tampered with by your employee, nor can they utilize tactics to illegally short you when payday comes around.
Anyone in Houston who has ever waited tables knows it isn't easy work. Waiters and waitresses earn every dime they make.
It may be happening on the other side of Texas, but a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act by a company in McAllen serves as a reminder to Houston residents that dishonest employers can, and should, be held accountable for any underhanded tactics. There are federal laws that protect you from retaliation should you report violations about your employer so that employees don't feel bullied in to staying quiet.
Paying the laborer his or her due is a baseline tenet of good business. Most employers live up to that rule as a matter of personal integrity. Others live up to it because it's required by law. There are some, and Texas has its share, who look to skirt the obligation. Holding them accountable sometimes requires the help of experienced wage and hour attorneys.