For many individuals in the food service industry, tips may be considered a significant part of their income. However, if workers are performing duties on the job that do not provide opportunity to be given a tip, employees should be paid at least minimum wage. However, in some situations, workers may not be compensated properly for the duties they perform and may have cause to file a claim for unpaid wages.
A case moving forward due to similar circumstances was recently denied class-action status by a Florida judge. Over 300,000 current and former workers could potentially have been affected by the suit if it had been given class-action status. However, due to the case involving a company that owns several different restaurant chains, the different operating procedures of those chains caused the judge to rule against class-action status.
Though the case will not cover employees working at numerous restaurants across the country, it will proceed for the two individuals who filed the claim. The workers claimed that they were required to perform duties such as cleaning booths, rolling silverware and other non-serving activities, but their wages were not increased. It was not disclosed what type of compensation or damages the plaintiffs are seeking in the case.
When wages vary depending on what types of activities are being performed, it may become all too easy for Florida employees to be victims of unpaid wages. Therefore, it may be important for individuals to keep up with their duties and the compensation they should receive for their work. Parties may be able to use this documentation as evidence should they feel the need to file a claim and pursue legal action for wage discrepancies.
Source: Orlando Sentinel, "Employee suit against Darden loses class-action status", Kyle Arnold, Sept. 5, 2014