Minimum Wages for Tipped Workers
Employers are required by law to pay their employees at least the federal minimum wage, which is currently $7.25 an hour. In Texas and many other states, employers may legally pay their tipped workers a lower hourly wage, since tips are factored into their overall wages. However, tipped workers who earn below the minimum wage after tips are entitled to further wages from their employers.
The Fair Labor Standards Act includes special provisions concerning fair legal wages for tipped workers:
- Tipped employees must earn at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour after tips have been counted. If a worker earns less than this amount, the employer is legally obligated to pay the difference.
- Tips are the property of the tipped employee. An employer may not claim any portion of an employee’s tips unless they pay the worker the full minimum wage before tips.
- If workers receive no tips but the establishment adds a compulsory service charge, employees must be paid the federal minimum wage.
- Employees who work in dual tipping and non-tipping positions must be paid the full minimum wage for the time they work in the non-tipping position.
Some employers, either intentionally or inadvertently, fail to pay their workers the wages they are rightfully owed. Whether your employer is simply ignorant of the law or is withholding wages purposefully, you have a legal right to receive the money you have earned.
If you do not make at least minimum wage at your tipped job or you are otherwise being paid unfairly, you may be able to fight back for the wages you are rightly owed. To speak with a qualified Austin wage dispute attorney, contact the offices of The Melton Law Firm, at 512-330-0017.