Articles Posted in Tipped Employees

An American psychotherapist became famous after he published a self-help book entitled Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff… and it’s all Small Stuff. While that may be great advice in terms of mental health, the exact opposite is often true in legal matters. Many times, the small stuff is the stuff most worth sweating, as something very small may make a very big difference in terms of success versus defeat. That’s why a knowledgeable Atlanta worker misclassification lawyer is so valuable to you, as your attorney will spot all of the small stuff that is most definitely worth sweating.

Here in Georgia, workers, when it comes to minimum wage and overtime, often rely on the protections written into federal law. With that in mind, even cases from outside Georgia may offer very useful insights for you and your minimum wage and overtime case.

A recent Fair Labor Standards Act case from North Carolina is a good example. The case involved an industry where minimum wage and overtime disputes are common: adult entertainment. The plaintiff was an exotic dancer at a club in the Raleigh, North Carolina area. Her lawsuit alleged that the club improperly classified her as an independent contractor when she really was an employee and, in the process, improperly failed to meet the overtime and minimum wage obligations of the FLSA.

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In an important recent ruling, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the decision of an Atlanta-based federal District Court, denying an employee the opportunity to pursue a class action against her employer for keeping some of the employees’ tips. The key to the employer’s victory in both courts was the limitations on private lawsuits contained in the Fair Labor Standards Act’s language. Since that law only allowed private lawsuits in cases of unpaid overtime or failure to meet the minimum wage, neither of which occurred in this case, the employee had no legal right to pursue a private class action.

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The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) outlines a number of requirements regarding the payment of employees who regularly receive over $30 per month in tips. According to these requirements, tips are to remain property of the employee and cannot be confiscated by an employer except in cases where a tip credit or tip pool is applicable.

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