Food services jobs are difficult, demanding and historically low-paying. Often, when Tennessee high school students look for their first jobs, they apply at fast food restaurants and as kitchen help in diners. For them, job experience plus having a few bucks in their pockets or saving to buy a car are the main goals, However, for those who work in hospitality as a way to support their families, the paycheck is everything. Wage and hour disputes can be frustrating and demoralizing.
In another state, one restaurant owner has been fined about $3,000 for wage and overtime violations. He was also ordered to repay almost $245,000 in pay and damages he withheld from his employees, particularly those working in the back of the house. According to reports, the owner paid his kitchen staff in cash when they worked past the 40-hour maximum. However, he paid them straight wages, not time-and-a-half, as the law demands for overtime.
The restaurant owner also failed to keep records of these cash transactions. In fact, he is said to have kept two sets of books, and he showed the inaccurate log to investigators. The employees complained that the man bullied them during the investigation and encouraged them to lie to the agents.
Workers trade their time and effort for money. When the legally established wages are withheld from them, it places those employees in difficult situations. Tennessee workers facing wage and hour disputes do not have to accept unfair treatment from their employers. They have every right to seek legal counsel and work to reclaim the money they have lawfully earned.
Source: Fairfield, CT Patch, "Fairfield Restaurant Ordered To Pay $245K In OT Dispute", Vincent Salzo, Jan. 18, 2018