Working in restaurants can be a very strenuous job that requires employees to heavily rely on tips received from customers to make a living. Without these tips, Texas servers are generally paid a very low rate per hour, which is well below the standard minimum wage. When workers are not doing tip-producing work, they expect to be paid at the standard minimum wage to compensate for the difference resulting from not earning tips. Some companies may not pay their servers appropriately, which may result in those servers missing out on overtime pay and suffering lost wages.
Two women who worked for Hooters are alleging that the company did not pay them correctly for their work. One of the women was employed by the company for about five years, and the other, hired in 2011, is currently still working for the company. The women are claiming that they were instructed to perform duties that were not related to being a server. These activities included cleaning, setting up stations and tables, and refilling condiments.
According to their complaint, servers for Hooters are paid $2.13 per hour and receive additional money in the form of tips. While doing these tasks that did not allow them the opportunity to receive tips, the plaintiffs were allegedly still paid the server rate. Furthermore, they are claiming that they were forced to give some of their tips to other staff members who were not involved with assisting customers.
The women have filed a class action claim against Hooters and are claiming that the restaurant chain violated the Fair Labor Standards Act. They are looking to be awarded lost wages and overtime pay to which they believe they are entitled. Texas employees who notice oversights on their pay checks should first inform their supervisors of the errors. If the discrepancy is not corrected, the workers may choose to file claims against their employers in order to receive the lost wages and compensation for other losses based upon the individual circumstances of the case.
Source: bizjournals.com, "Former employees file class action lawsuit against Hooters in Trussville", Ryan Phillips, Jan. 20, 2015