From skimming tips to underpaying employees for overtime hours, wage theft is an unfortunately common side effect of working in the restaurant industry. Despite increasing regulations to combat the issue, many restaurants still struggle to protect employees from wage theft, leaving it up to workers to protect themselves.
1. Keep Financial Records
One of the easiest things an employee can do to protect against wage theft is to keep records of all payments received. This includes tracking tip money, examining paychecks for unnecessary deductions, and noting the amount paid for both regular and overtime hours.
2. Log Breaks (Including Lunch)
Most restaurant workers are entitled to a few short breaks a day, including one for meal time. Some employers, however, take advantage of this time and fail to compensate workers for the time they spend on break or at lunch. Again, examining your paycheck for inconsistencies and becoming familiar with state labor laws are effective ways to combat this issue before it starts.
3. Obtain Legal Representation
If you believe that, despite your protective measures, you have fallen victim to wage theft, consider contacting an attorney who specializes in restaurant employee protection. Between your records and solid legal representation, you can win back your hard-earned wages.
There are many methods of preventing wage theft in restaurants, and legal help can ensure your protection even if these preventive measures fail. Until the threat of wage theft is completely eliminated, honoring these measures is the best way to ensure a smooth employment experience.