FENWICK ISLAND, DE — A server for a Delaware beach restaurant recently filed a wage theft lawsuit against the company, claiming managers engaged in rampant and systematic wage theft against wait staff to enrich ownership and management, as well as pay the wages for hourly, non-tip earning workers. The claim against Harpoon Hanna’s of Fenwick Island, Delaware is just one of many in recent years filed against popular tourist spots along the Mid-Atlantic near Ocean City, Maryland and Delaware.
The wage theft lawsuit, filed by a single plaintiff, claims that management at Harpoon Hanna’s created an illegal tip pool to draw tip wages from servers to keep payroll down for other employees working in the back of the house and ineligible to receive tip credits from servers under federal labor and wage laws. The lawsuit claims that the defendants required wait staff to engage in the illegal tip pool as a condition of employment. Unfortunately, these types of illegal business practices are all too common in the restaurant industry and target many low income workers afraid to risk termination by speaking out.
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which sets national standards on minimum wage and overtime pay, employers may compensate tip earning employees below minimum wage so long as these workers have the opportunity to earn at least minimum wage from service tips. Currently, the federal tip earning minimum wage is $2.13 per hour but many states set their own applicable tip earning minimum wages that supersede those federal minimums.
The FLSA also allows employers to establish tip pools from the service tips from restaurant servers to compensate other tip earning employees, like bussers and hosts, working in the front of the house servicing customers. When restaurants illegally take tip wages from servers and wait staff to supplement the wages of back of the house workers, like cooks and dishwashers, wage theft victims have the legal right to demand their back pay from employers and even file wage theft lawsuits to compel the employers to fully compensate workers for all their hard work.
Restaurant Worker Wage Theft Lawsuit
Call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page if you believe that your wage rights are being violated under the FLSA. Our top-rated team of unpaid wage lawyers will evaluate your situation to determine your best course of action to help you seek justice.
Our office will also determine if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit against your employer. Because strict time limitations apply for filing these types of claims, we advise you contact our experienced unpaid overtime wage attorneys at your earliest convenience and preserve your legal rights.