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Sterling Employment Law

Two restaurants ordered to pay after violating employee rights

Workers in the service industry in Michigan might not know that they have certain rights that their employer must adhere to. When employee rights are violated, it is important that those who have been victimized know what to do to receive their employee benefits. Proving that there was a violation can result in compensation and back pay. Having advice as to the legal issues is key to pursuing a claim.

A pancake restaurant in Michigan has been ordered to pay $122,500 each in back wages and damages to more than 73 workers at one location and 45 employees at another location. These violations happened between September of 2010 and January of 2012. According to the Department of Labor investigation, servers were forced to pay $2 per hour from their tips to the employer. In addition, the man who ran one of the restaurants committed employment discrimination by terminating a server because she reported the violations that were taking place.

The investigation revealed that the following violations took place: the $2 in tips per hour were required to be paid to the owner with no pooling arrangement that would have made this legal; deducting from employees' wages for uniforms or incorrect orders; not keeping an accurate record of hours and wages; giving kitchen staff a flat salary without knowing how many hours they worked even if they surpassed 40 hours and were entitled to overtime; and discriminating against a worker who issued the complaint.

Workers who are treated improperly can run the gamut from the service industry to any other kind of employment. The failure to pay benefits, making unreasonable and illegal demands, discrimination, retaliation and more can occur. All are against the law and can be the basis for a lawsuit. Speaking to an attorney who is experienced in a wide variety of employment-based claims is the first step to filing a wage claim, receiving justice and getting what is owed.

Source: mlive.com, "Pancake houses that stiffed workers on tips will pay up," Rosemary Parker, Feb. 16, 2016

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