For most of us, we go to a restaurant, we judge the waiter on the type of service that we receive and we give them a tip. Those tips are important for waiters, but what about the rest of the staff that works at the restaurant? The bus boys, cooks, hostesses and dishwashers most often do not get a portion of those tips and heavily rely on the minimum wages that they are paid. In this economy, restaurant attendance is down, putting even more reliance on the minimum wage salary for servers as well.

Labor laws regulate the wages that certain employees are due and the hours that an employee can work in relation to certain compensation. When these laws are violated, employees in the restaurant industry suffer. That is why the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division often conducts investigations in order to find and expose any potential violations.

A recent investigation into the restaurant industry in a state on the west coast found that several violations were being committed in a number of establishments. The violations ranged from failure to accurately calculate and pay required overtime hours to a failure to keep accurate records of the time and wages that each employee worked and was paid for.

During this economy, restaurant business may be suffering, but employers still need to not only pay their employees at least as often as law requires. Also, the accounts that the money is drawn from for paychecks must have sufficient funds to cover those amounts. These are another type of violation that the $672,333 the DOL investigation recovered in order to compensate 273 employees in that state.

Source: Hispanically Speaking, “California Restaurant Workers Recover More than $672,000 in Unpaid Wages,” Dec. 12, 2012

You don’t have to wait for the Department of Labor to make a visit to Missouri or Kansas in order to obtain the wages that you have earned. Our Wage Laws page provides information to employees and access to attorneys who can evaluate any claim.