A woman who worked for a jazz club outside of Massachusetts claims that she was underpaid. She believes that the club violated wage and hour laws, and she is hoping that her case will award her the lost wages she believes she is owed. The federal lawsuit she has filed seeks class-action status so that other similarly situated employees will be included.
Allegedly, the plaintiff was paid $2.13 per hour plus her tips. The hourly wage that she was being paid was far below the federal minimum wage. She counted on her tips to make up for the bulk of her wages, but she was not able to hold onto everything that she made.
She alleges that she was forced to contribute to a tip pool with her fellow employees. When the pool was split, she claims that workers who should not have been included that were not paid tips receied a portion. These employees included managers, door staff and maintenance. Additionally, when she worked more than 40 hours in a week, she claims she was not paid correctly.
She filed her class action suit in a federal court, accusing the club of violating the Fair Labor Standards Act. If the court rules in her favor, her judgment may include legal fees, monetary damages and unpaid wages and overtime she believes she is owed. Although illegal, many employers in Massachusetts and elsewhere believe that the they can get away with violating wage and hour laws because the employees are not aware of how they should be compensated. It is a best practice for all workers to know the federal minimum wage as well as what hours should be counted as overtime. Employees who suspect that their employers are violating the law can speak with an employment law attorney to determine if they have viable cases.
Source: louisianarecord.com, "Class-action suit aims to restore allegedly unpaid overtime pay to Maison Bourbon staff", Robert Hadley, Dec. 17, 2015