New Orleans Overtime Lawyer

Unpaid Wages, Overtime, and Commissions – New Orleans Overtime Lawyer

An honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay. Click to learn about wage and hour law.

Discrimination and Retaliation Claims

Louisiana law protects workers from unlawful employment discrimination or retaliation. Click to learn more.

Non-Competition Agreements

Non-Competition Agreements and Trade Secrets

Legal disputes often arise when a former employee joins a competitor. Click to learn about trade secrets and non-competes.

Louisiana Supreme Court

Appeals and Louisiana Supreme Court Writs

Lawsuits don’t always end at trial. Click to learn about our appellate practice.

Contact Us Today

Talk directly to Charles Stiegler today!

Fill out the form below or call Charles Stiegler at (504) 267-0777.

* = required

 

The firm offices are located in Lakeview in New Orleans, Louisiana:

318 Harrison Ave.

Suite 104

New Orleans, LA 70124

There is plenty of free parking available, both on the street and in a parking lot behind the building.

Labor and Employment Law Blog

Labor and Employment Law Blog by the Stiegler Law Firm in New Orleans, Louisiana. Articles on topics and recent developments in employment and overtime law.

Your Tip Pool May Violate Federal Law

When you leave a tip for a waiter or a bartender, you probably assume that the money goes to that waiter or bartender.  But as a recent story from The Times Picayune shows, that’s not always the case.  Some restaurants require employees to participate in a “tip pool.”  In many cases the tip pool may actually violate federal law.   The article linked above discusses a recent case filed by bartenders at Dat Dog, who are represented by the Stiegler Law Firm and our co-counsel at the Chopin Law Firm.  That case alleges that an illegal tip pool led to underpaid wages for bartenders and other service employees at Dat Dog restaurants.

The Fair Labor Standards Act sets the minimum wage which, in most cases, is $7.25 an hour.  However, there is an exception for “tipped employees” such as waiters and bartenders.  Companies may pay tipped employees as little as $2.13 an hour, provided they make at least $7.25 an hour once their tips are taken into account.  If the employee does not make at least $5.12 an hour in tips, the employee is legally required to make up the difference — although many restaurants do not track this as carefully as they should.

Some restaurants take this a step further by imposing a tip pool – meaning that employees are required to “tip out” other workers who do not directly receive tips.  Tip pools are legal if the only employees who participate in the pool have regular interaction with customers.  Waiters, hostesses, and bartenders may all be required to participate in a tip pool.

Tip pools may not include back of house employees who do not have regular customer interaction. If a cook, dishwasher, or other back of the house employee participates in a tip pool, that pool is illegal under federal law.  The penalties for an illegal tip pool can be dramatic: employees may recover the difference between $2.13 an hour and $7.25 an hour for every hour worked, plus liquidated damages, plus the tips they were required to pay out.

If you have any questions about a tip pool, restaurant tipping practices in general, or if you think you have been underpaid wages or overtime, call New Orleans overtime lawyer Charles Stiegler at (504) 267-0777 or email me here.