Monthly Archives: April 2014

Tipped Employees in Five States to Receive a Raise

Increase in salary

Employees who receive tips for their services are getting their well-deserved raise; at least in five states plus Washington, D.C. this year. In a recent report by the Huffington Post, Minnesota became just the latest state to pass legislation that would allow tipped workers to obtain a raise, with the state government guaranteeing “them the same $9.50 hourly minimum wage that other workers will get.” The other five four states are Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and West Virginia.

With the state not having to put up a separate legislation for giving tipped employees their raise, the state is just one of the seven states that require employers to pay their workers the minimum wage, regardless if they are tipped or not. The other states are Alaska, California, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington State.

This is in stark contrast to Delaware and West Virginia, which opted to create legislation that would provide workers increased tips that are separate from their likewise increased hourly minimum wage. For instance, Delaware’s minimum wage will be raised to $8.25, with tipped workers receiving a rate of $3.23 (from $2.23). West Virginia will provide tipped workers a tipped rate that is 30 percent of the state’s new hourly minimum wage, which is at $8.75.

Meanwhile, the State of Connecticut would also have an increase in its tipped rate as the state is set to increase its minimum wage over three years. By 2015, the state’s hourly minimum wage for tipped workers would be about 63 percent of the broader rate. As Connecticut is inching closer to the target of $10.10 hourly minimum wage rate, the tipped workers would by then receive their increased tipped rate of $6.38, up from $5.69.

In the Huffington Post report, U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez told a House panel a month ago that tipped employees “have been taking it on the chin in all too many states.” Indeed, tipped workers are often some of the many workers that have been overlooked for quite some time now, and giving them their well-deserved increase in their tips is one way to address the concerns of those who were lobbying for them.

Meanwhile, a Los Angeles labor lawyer, while not expecting to see an increase in the tips that tipped workers receive, is also keeping an eye on July of this year, which is the time the $9.00 increase in the overall minimum wage in the state is expected to take effect.



Making Family and Medical Leaves Available For Everyone


Family or career. It seems like every American always has to choose between these two. For one, having a family is one very difficult task that one family member has to deal with. Working, on the other hand, is equally difficult as well. That is why whoever said the adage “you can’t serve two masters at the same time” were very much right. So how can you strike a balance between the two?

Perfect Work-Life Balance
Some people say that it is not wise to work for extended hours as it is never-ending. What most experts say is that one should make every minute of their workday count by working smart and not just working hard. By doing that, you can spend more quality time with your family. However, there are just times when you are pressed to make the very tough decision between spending time with your family when they badly need you or stay at work and face your workload.

Reality Bites
At times when you badly need to spend time with a sick family member or your children, you may find yourself with a dilemma. How can you attend to these family matters without being kicked out of your work? The Family and Medical Leave Act is a law that has been passed 20 years ago. However, this has been quite ineffective as only 60 percent of the workforce has been given the opportunity to take unpaid, but job-protected leaves. However, people just can’t afford to avail of this program as they cannot just take such leaves as they need to get all the work pay that they could get. Moreover, studies show that only 12 percent of the workers in the country are given access to family leaves through their job. Worse, less than 40 percent of these workers have access to the medical leaves through the temporary disability insurance that their employers provided.

The Need for Changes
While this is not necessarily a problem in the state of California, a Los Angeles labor attorney believes that something must be done about this on a national level. The problems in the law must be fixed and benefits like these must be made available to every working American. Moreover, there are many types of employment discrimination, harassment, and abuse that has been making life difficult for every employee in the country.

The country’s workforce is the most important catalyst for economic growth. And so, the state must do everything to protect every worker’s rights. Cause a happy employee is a productive and reliable partner is the country’s progress.


HamBurgled: The Story of Wage Theft in the Fast-food Industry

Employee is on rally because of minimum wage is not metBeing a fast-food worker is not at all easy. Imagine working hard for long hours only to get a meager amount to make both ends meet. Worse, the rising costs of living makes it doubly hard for minimum wage earners to live a decent life. Adding insult to the injury, some fast-food employees become victims of wage theft in the workplace.

Wage Theft in the Fast-food Industry
Advocacy group “Low Pay Is Not OK”(read more) recently held a survey asking employees if they believe that they are victims of wage theft. According the poll, nine out of 10 individuals who work in the fast-food industry believe that they have been victims of wage theft. The results are a clear indication why labor lawsuits were filed and workers are holding protest actions. The group also made mention of the accounts of two former managers of fast-food giant McDonald’s. These former employees discussed how they were forced to help boost profits to the detriment of the service crew. They committed employment and labor law violations by inserting unpaid breaks in the schedule of workers, shaved hours from the latter’s shifts and moved hours from one week to the other so that the management can dodge overtime pays.

Shocking Numbers
In the survey, 1,088 fast-food workers from 10 major cities across the United States were asked. They revealed the following:

  • Among the three popular hamburger chains, Burger King had the most number of workers that fell victim to wage theft at 92 percent compared to McDonald’s 84 percent, and Wendy’s 82 percent.
  • Three out of five fast-food employees received lower overtime wages for the extra time they worked.
  • Most fast-food chains do not just commit wage theft alone but also commit other employment and labor law violations that include gender discrimination.

Yes, employees can file employment and labor law violations against these companies and ask compensation for the losses they have incurred. However, a Los Angeles labor attorney believes that something has to be done about these rampant commission of such violations. This blatant disregard of these fast-food companies of existing laws should make authorities rethink of their strategies to protect the rights of these poorly paid and over worked employees.