Attorneys James T. Carey and P. Zachary Stewart

Pursuing your Claims. Protecting your Rights.

Are fast food and restaurant workers entitled to overtime pay?

On Behalf of | Jul 21, 2020 | Overtime And Wage Issues

People in West Virginia and across the nation who work in the food service industry are often mistreated on the job. There are many reasons for this. Frequently, those employed are immigrants, students, and those who need some level of flexibility in their employment to achieve other endeavors. Regardless, everyone has the right to receive what they are entitled to in terms of wages and overtime. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) specifically addresses restaurant and fast food pay requirements. Those who believe they have been deprived of their pay and other benefits should understand what steps to take to ensure they are duly compensated.

How the FLSA protects restaurant and fast food workers

It is important to remember that there is a financial requirement with sales that must be met for an establishment to fall under the rules of the FLSA. If the sales from one or more locations reaches a minimum of $500,000 annually, it must follow FLSA regulations. If a worker is employed at the restaurant or moves commerce from one state to another will be protected and should receive minimum wage and overtime based on the law.

For minimum wage, if the worker is non-exempt, it must be at least $7.25 hourly. The employer cannot deduct wages for various factors and issues such as the cash register having less that it should, a uniform cost or if a customer leaves the premises if the amount deducted reduces the person’s wages below minimum wage or negatively impacts overtime pay. Tips are considered wages. This may not be a common concern in the fast food industry, but in other food service jobs, people are often given tips. Still, when tips are factored in, the minimum hourly wage must be at least $2.13 with the tips making up the difference to reach the minimum wage.

Fast food and restaurant employees are entitled to receive overtime wages. If a worker is unfamiliar with the law for overtime, an employer might try to skirt this requirement. The worker should receive 1.5 times what they get hourly for every hour they work beyond 40 for the workweek. That means if the worker earns $7.25 per hour and works 10 extra hours, they would get $10.875 per hour for those extra hours and it would equal $108.75 for the week. If there are tips, this will be considered in the overall wages.

Getting what is owed through a legal filing

Working in the restaurant and fast food industry can be arduous. Hardworking, blue collar employees who are trying to stretch every dollar as far as they can should make certain they receive all they are legally entitled to without fear of repercussions for it. When a corporation or an owner tries to deprive these workers of their pay by labeling them independent contractors, asking them to perform extra tasks beyond their regular hours and does not pay them for it, fails to give them job allowances or breaks the law in other ways, it is wise to have legal advice. Consulting with professionals who have experience in overtime and wage violations can help with taking the necessary steps to file a case.