Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Monday, October 08, 2007

Have You Tipped Your Salad Maker Lately?

Last Friday I did the second session of the Essential Employment Law course that I do for the University of Texas School of Law CLE division every fall. On the section on the basics of the FLSA I mention how some of the more arcane areas of wage and hour law can cause serious problems for employers.

For example while a restaurant can pay its waitstaff $2.13 an hour, with the balance that gets them to the minimum wage (and often a lot more) coming from a tip pool, the pool has to comply with all the technical requirements set out by the department of labor.

One of those provisions that has led to litigation has been whether those participating in the pools are regularly tipped employees? One case I mention turns on whether a salad maker was a regularly tipped employee. (True confession -- I never have tipped a salad maker.)

If I had been more current on my reading I could have also mentioned the following story from the Austin Business Journals, Area restaurants served with lawsuits, to show these issues are not just an academic exercise.

I will make sure that I do that for the November 7th session to be held here in Austin, which you can still catch if you are interested. See here for registration.


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