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waitress in texas Texas

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  • waitress in texas Texas

    I am a first time waitress, but was curious to know about the hourly wage law .... I know it is $2.13 and that we get the rest from tips. THe question I have is, is that when we end our "shift" and we are "cut" from the floor (and we are NO LONGER MAKING TIPS)) - how is it that we MUST do other work (including serving food, maintenance on condiments and everything else we are asked ) for only $2.13? Is this legal??? And we have to do the extra work for $2.13 an hour or they won't give us our tips from the register that are from customers who charged their meal ticket or paid our tip at the register.

    Also, what is the law regarding breaks and lunch-breaks? THey made me work 14 1/2 hours without a break. (I went to the back to sit down after 6 hours for 65 seconds and I got yelled at. Is this legal?

    Concerned......

  • #2
    Neither Federal or Texas have laws requiring employers to offer breaks. This is left to the discretion of the employer. As such, company policy would dictate what breaks are offered (if any at all). Also the employer has the right to alter or change this policy as they see fit.

    http://www.dol.gov/esa/programs/whd/state/meal.htm
    http://www.dol.gov/esa/programs/whd/state/rest.htm

    If gross pay (tips + wages) divided by # of hrs worked is greater than minimum wage, then the employer has met their pay responsibilities.

    For example, let's say you earn $250 in tips for 40 hours worked and you are paid $2.13 per hour. Your corresponding hourly rate would be calculated as follows:

    $250 (tips) + $85.20 (wages at $2.13 per hour) = $335.20 / 40 hrs = $8.38

    Using this example, you did receive at least minimum wage for hours worked. If this is not happening then the employer should be making up the difference that would bring you to minimum wage. Just make sure that you are declaring *all* of your tips and hopefully you'll be fine.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by alicialewis
      THe question I have is, is that when we end our "shift" and we are "cut" from the floor (and we are NO LONGER MAKING TIPS)) - how is it that we MUST do other work (including serving food, maintenance on condiments and everything else we are asked ) for only $2.13?
      I am not an expert on tips and found part of your question of interest, so I cheated and went over to the federal DOL website, and found the following.
      ------
      http://www.dol.gov/esa/regs/compliance/whd/whdfs15.htm

      Dual Jobs: When an employee is employed concurrently in both a tipped and a non-tipped occupation, the tip credit is available only for the hours spent in the tipped occupation. The Act permits an employer to take the tip credit for time spent in duties related to the tipped occupation, even though such duties are not by themselves directed toward producing tips, provided such duties are incidental to the regular duties and are generally assigned to such occupations. Where tipped employees are routinely assigned to maintenance, or where tipped employees spend a substantial amount of time (in excess of 20 percent) performing general preparation work or maintenance, no tip credit may be taken for the time spent in such duties.
      "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
      Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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      • #4
        Based on DAW's post, it would seem that the length of time you spend doing the "maintenance" tasks will determine if you are able to *switch* out of the tipped wage in favor of the *full* rate.

        I worked at a restaurant in college and we were not supposed to swap rates until an hour had passed since our last tip.

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        • #5
          The work you are describing after being cut from the floor is called sidework. It is perfectly legal (as long as your average hourly wage is above minimum wage, as another poster explained) and I don't know a single server that does not do sidework and food running after being cut.
          HOOK 'EM HORNS!!!
          How do you catch a very rare rabbit?
          (unique up on him)
          How do catch an ordinary rabbit?
          (same way)

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          • #6
            mommyof4, please see also the cite DAW quoted. We don't disagree that it's legal to require sidework. The guidelines DAW included has to do with whether or not the employee can be paid only the tipped wage amount for hours worked doing sidework.
            I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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