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Texas restaurant settles wage dispute

Texas waiters and waitresses work hard for their money. Many of them are conscientious about making sure that food orders are properly prepared, drinks are kept filled and their patrons are well taken care of. These same waiters and waitresses often work for a reduced minimum wage plus their tips. Thus, when something occurs that affects their tips, their livelihood is affected, and a wage dispute can erupt.

Recently, The Big Texan Steak Ranch settled a wage dispute leveled by the U.S. Department of Labor. In 2011, the restaurant underwent a federal audit. This audit indicated that there were some wage and hour violations in how tips were pooled and the diversion of some tips for business expenses. Claiming that this was an office error, the company settled the issue to the tune of $800,000. This amount was used to cover wages owed to the employees and to cover damages suffered.

Employers are required to follow wage and hour regulations, including those dealing with the issue of tips. When employees are not properly paid, the employee suffers, and a wage dispute becomes an issue. Such a problem can carry over into the day to day operation of the business and the way in which its customers are taken care of.

The majority of Texas employers are careful to avoid a wage dispute. They pay their employees what is owed, when it is owed. However, at times, this is not the case. If an employee has a wage dispute with his or her employer, he or she may want to investigate available legal options to determine what action is appropriate.

Source: CBS DFW, "Famous Texas Steakhouse Settles Labor Dispute", 2014, June 24, 2014

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