Popular Charleston Restaurant Faces South Carolina Wage Payment Lawsuit for Alleged Labor Violations with Tips
A popular downtown Charleston seafood restaurant now faces a South Carolina wage payment lawsuit filed by 15 current and former employees, which alleges that a tip sharing pool violated the Fair Labor Standards Act.
The South Carolina wage payment lawsuit was filed on July 3rd against Hyman’s Seafood Company, and alleges that restaurant owners created a tip pool that violated labor regulations. The tip pool took $5 from every server at the end of each evening’s shift, then a dollar out of each $5 was paid to the dishwasher, and another dollar to the salad prep person.
The wage payment claim also says that after tips were split among staff, the restaurant owners kept the rest for “breakage,” allegedly a fee to cover broken dishes and lost silverware.
According to the US Department of Labor, this style of tip pool is a labor violation. Tip pools are only valid for use in restaurants when tips are split among employees who deal directly with customers, such as wait staff, bartenders, and bussers. Tip pools do not include “…employees who do not customarily and regularly receive tips, such as dishwashers, cooks, chefs and janitors.”
This is in violation of the Tip Credit Policy portion of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
The South Carolina wage payment lawsuit also seeks backpay for unpaid overtime. The current and former employees who are part of the class action claim that they were repeatedly asked to continue work, even though they were technically off the clock.
“They’re claiming that the restaurant keep a portion of their tips not only for management for breakage which was, for plates that were being broken or silverware that was being lost. Also, for sharing their tips with other employees who are not regularly tipped employees,” Bruce Miller said, an employment and labor law attorney representing the employees.
Wage Payment Claims in South Carolina
If you feel you are not receiving adequate pay for your overtime hours in violation of your rights, we may be able to help you with a South Carolina wage payment lawsuit seeking compensation for your overtime hours in violation of the South Carolina Wage Payment Act and/or Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). According to the FLSA, any non-exempt employee must be paid time and half for any hours worked over 40 during one work week. Even if you are classified as an exempt employee, you may be improperly classified, and/or an employment practice by the employer may destroy the exemption.
To be eligible for overtime pay, one must meet one or more of the following criteria:
- Receive less than $23,600 annually
- Be a non-management employee performing maintenance, construction, installation, production, repair, clerical, secretarial and/or kitchen work
- Be an hourly employee
- Be a commissioned employee who does not regularly travel
- Be a salaried employee earning less than $455 per workweek excluding executives, professional, administrative, or outside sales professionals
Filing A South Carolina Wage Payment Lawsuit Against An Employer For Labor Violations Can Be Tricky
When filing a complaint against your employer for labor violations including lost wages and mis-tracked hours, you may want to enlist the help of a South Carolina wage payment attorney. Understanding overtime laws can be daunting. The South Carolina business litigation attorney at the Strom Law Firm, LLC can help you interpret labor laws and settle any labor violations you have witnessed or experienced. Many overtime claim cases are won because the employer failed to keep adequate wage and hour records. The Strom Law Firm will investigate all aspects of your labor violations claim, and seek to secure you the compensation you have rightfully earned. Call us today for a free, confidential consultation. 803.252.4800.