Unpaid Overtime for Tipped Employees

Tipped employees such as busboys, bartenders, waiters, valet drivers, and caddies are entitled to protection under the Fair Labor Standards Act, which ensures that non-exempt employees are fairly compensated for their work. Workers are considered tipped employees when they regularly receive more than $30 a month in tips. Tipped employees are often paid below the minimum wage, and their tips are factored in to meet minimum wage requirements. Your employer must pay you at least $2.13 an hour if they decide to pay you below the minimum wage based on the fact that you are a tipped employee.

However, if you do not make minimum wage when your tips and direct wage are combined, then your employer is required to compensate your wages. Your employer must explain to you that they are using the tip credit system for this to be valid. If they do not explain to you the system before it is applied, they can owe you for lost wages.

Tip pooling happens when your employer withholds part of your tips to pay other employees who typically do not receive tips. If you are being required to share your tips with other employees, there is a likelihood that it is being done illegally, and you could be eligible to make a claim against your employer.

Tipped employees are also eligible for overtime wages. If you have worked more than 40 hours in a workweek, you should be receiving overtime wages, even if your tips earn you more than the minimum wage requirement. If your paychecks are not reflecting overtime pay, you may have a claim for unpaid wages.

If your employer is violating the overtime laws of the Fair Labor Standards Act by not paying you the hard earned wages you deserve, then you can make a claim against them to not only be reimbursed for unpaid wages, but also cover your attorney’s fees as well.

You can only make a claim for unearned wages from the past three years, so you need to speak with an attorney as soon as possible to ensure you get back all the unpaid wages you are owed. Dunham & Jones represents clients who are not being fairly paid for the work they put in. Call now to have an overtime attorney review your case.

Call the overtime lawyers at Dunham & Jones now or fill out the contact.  Unpaid wage claims can be very complicated, so you need to talk to an overtime attorney even if you don’t think you have a claim.   Our evaluation is free and confidential.

Call 1-800-499-8455 or Complete the form below

Is it legal to have a restaurant tip pool?


Tip pooling is a practice where employees split tips. Tip pools are allowed if the employees sharing in the tip-pool have somehow been participants in the work that led to the customer’s tip. The FLSA does not recognize employees such as dishwashers, chefs, and janitors as valid participants in tip-pooling because these professions do not customarily receive tips.

The amount contributed to the tip-pool is not regulated by the FLSA. It is up to the employer to inform their employees of the required contribution to the tip-pool. The amount contributed to the tip-pool must be customary and reasonable. Employers themselves cannot be part of tip-pools. Proper compensation must be made if an employee’s wages do not satisfy minimum wage requirements as a result of tip-pooling.

If the requirements for tip-pooling are not met, then the tip-pool is not valid. If your employer has violated FLSA regulations by improperly implementing a tip-pool, you may be able to file a claim for your unpaid wages going back as far as three years. Dunham & Jones will evaluate your claim during a free initial consultation. It is important to meet with an attorney as soon as possible due to the limitations placed on filing claims. At Dunham & Jones, we will analyze your case confidentially and answer any questions you may have.

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Is my employer allowed to change my timesheet?


An employer may adjust your timesheet if you have clocked in late, or if you simply forgot to clock in. An employer who is adjusting your timesheet to avoid paying you overtime is in violation of FLSA standards.

The FLSA requires employers to compensate their employees for overtime when the employees have worked more than 40 hours in a workweek. If you are a non-exempt employee and have not received the overtime rate of pay, which is 1.5 times your regular rate, then you can make a claim for unpaid wages.

If you believe your employer has not paid you fairly, call now or fill a contact form as soon as possible. At Dunham & Jones, we will evaluate your case during a free consultation that is confidential.

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Can my boss take deductions from my wages for mistakes I make at work?


Deductions need to be authorized in writing by the employee, and the reason for the deductions must be lawful. The deductions cannot affect the employee’s wages to the extent that they drop their pay below minimum wage standards.

If your pay has been docked due to incorrectly charging a customer, creating a shortage in your cash register, or breaking work materials, and this deduction was not authorized, then your employer has violated FLSA regulations.

Find out if your employer has lawfully deducted from your wages by speaking with an experienced hour and wage attorney. Employers may try and make up for losses by taking money out of their employee’s paycheck, but this is not always legal. At Dunham & Jones, we will meet with you during an initial case evaluation and discuss the legality of your employer’s actions.

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I work in a restaurant and I am paid a fixed rate, no matter how much I work. Is it legal for my employer to do this?


Anytime you work more than 40 hours in a workweek, your employer must compensate for the extra hours work, if you are a non-exempt employee. Non-exempt employees qualify for overtime even if they receive a fixed salary every week. The rate of pay for overtime is 1.5 times your regular rate of pay.

If your employer is not paying you for extra hours worked, or is not paying you at the overtime rate, you need to speak with an attorney. At Dunham & Jones, we will meet with you to discuss your claim during an initial evaluation. We have had many clients who believed they did not have a claim, and then discovered they were owed thousands by their employer. Call now or fill out a contact form as soon as possible.

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I work for my tips and my employer makes me share my tips with the cooks and the dishwashers. Are they allowed to do this?


When tip-pooling is used in restaurants, there are certain criteria which must be met for it to be considered valid. Tip pools cannot include workers who did not in some way service or interact with the guest who left you the tip. Workers who do not customarily receive tips cannot participate in tip pools, and this often includes cooks, food expeditors, and dish washers.

If your employer has unfairly taken wages from you, or have somehow conducted an invalid tip pool, you need to speak with an hour and wage attorney.

Dunham & Jones works with clients who have not received fair wages. During your free initial evaluation, we will answer all questions you have regarding your claim. Do not wait to file, there are time limitations and deadlines which must be met. Call now or fill out the contact form as soon as possible.

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