Q: Question regarding compensation for tipped employees
Basically, I work at a restaurant and last Thursday, the power went out. We had to close the restaurant, and it was probably around 6:30 - 7:00 PM. I'm fairly sure that employees should be sent home if they cannot work but we had to stay until 9:00 PM and then we were finally sent home. The following day, when I arrived for my shift at noon, the power was once again not working, and though they eventually got the power on, they once again had to shut down again for another hour just about. In all, I spent several hours basically sitting at my job receiving no compensation. I want to know what I'm entitled to because I believe I deserved to be getting paid atleast minimum wage during that time. However, this company has a way of screwing employees or just not caring so I'm just wondering what I'm entitled to before I bring it up. Thanks!
A: Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employers must ensure that tipped employees' hourly wage, combined with tips earned, equals at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25. If you didn't receive any tips during the hours the power was out but you were still required to be at work, your employer must pay you at least the federal minimum wage for each of these hours.
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