Because of the way many Tennessee restaurants and food service establishments pay workers, it is easy for employers to skirt around certain laws regarding fair pay. Restaurants are often at the center of wage and hour disputes because of unpaid overtime and other pay discrepancies, even if these actions are unintentional. Recently in another state, employees of a popular Tex-Mex restaurant, Chuy’s, won a settlement over unpaid overtime and other damages.
The employees were successful in their legal efforts against the company after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor found serious discrepancies in the number of hours some staff worked versus what the restaurant paid them. Chuy’s violated multiple federal laws pertaining to fair pay, including failure to pay minimum wage and time and a half for overtime hours.
It is the employer’s responsibility to keep up with the number of hours employees have worked. Instead, there were instances of the restaurant simply giving a worker cash for overtime or paying a regular hourly rate. State and federal laws protect the rights of employees, and it is especially important for those who work in the restaurant industry to know what they are entitled to.
Wage and hour disputes are complicated, and Tennessee employers are likely to dispute claims made by underpaid workers. This is why it is helpful to work with an experienced legal ally who knows the law and understands how to pursue legal action for the benefit of employees. An assessment of the individual case can help to gain an understanding of the specific legal options available.