Waiters and waitresses are entitled to overtime pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week.
The current minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, but wait staff may receive a lower "tip credit" minimum wage as long as:
• earned tips make up the difference between the tip credited minimum wage and the actual minimum wage
• no employee shares in the tip pool, or tip share, other than employees involved in actual food service to the customers. So, food runners, bartenders, bus boys, and hostesses may be tipped out from the tip pool. But kitchen employees, owners, and managers cannot share in the tips, unless they actually wait on tables.
• no deductions are made from the minimum wage for uniforms, identification badges, customers who don't pay their bill, or any other prohibited reason.
If the employer violates the tip pool arrangement, employees may be entitled to the difference between the tip credited minimum wage and the actual minimum wage for all hours worked, the return of the money that was unlawfully tipped out, double damages, and counsel fees.
Raymond Nardo has represented many restaurant employees who have recovered back wages from their employers.
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