Q: Is it legal for a restaurant owners wife to collect tips?
The owner of a restaurant I work at allows his wife to take tables and collect tips, taking tables away from his employees to do so. He will even ask employees to come in and work with his wife while paying them a flat fee, and she collects more in tips than the other employee is compensated, even though the employee is waiting the tables. Is this legal?
An owner of a restaurant not may not take the tips of its tipped employees
If you need any help reach out to me or any other employment lawyer
A: Whether his wife is there working is not relevant. What relevant is if someone gets paid unequally. Wife can be employee too but she should be treated equally.
1. Florida and federal law require restaurant owners to pay employees the current minimum wage but the law does not tell employers how they must do it.
2. Some restaurants do not allow tipping at all, but instead choose to pay their employees on an hourly or shift basis.
3. Any tips found on tables are given to the employer, or are perhaps collected and shared among the wait staff.
4. There is no Florida or federal law that forbids employers from hiring their spouses or other relatives.
5. Moreover, relatives of the owner can be paid differently than other employees.
6. Why? Because Florida is an “at-will” state, which means private employers are free to solicit, hire, promote, demote, suspend, terminate, reinstate, and rehire employees for any reason—or for no reason--at any time, i.e., “at will.”
7. The only thing employers cannot lawfully do is to make any of these employment decisions solely based upon the employee’s race, gender, age, national origin, handicap, disability, religion, or whether single, married, or pregnant.
8. The only real remedy for your problem is for you to find a better job elsewhere.
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