Tag Archives: Minimum Wage

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.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/21/minimum-wage-increase_n_5185207.html?utm_hp_ref=politics

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.

President Obama Set to Increase Overtime Eligibility for U.S. Salaried Workers

NEWS: FEB 18 President Obama Speaks at the Safeway Distribution Center

Overtime, under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), is one and one-half times the regular rate of pay for hours worked beyond the 40-hour workweek. Non-exempt employees, or those who are paid for their hours worked, receive not only the minimum wage, but also overtime. The Act, however, provides that employees who receive salary-based pay are considered as “exempt” from receiving overtime. To be deemed as exempted, employees must meet the requirements set forth by the FLSA based on job description and wage eligibility.

Take for instance those who perform managerial work. These so-called “white collar workers” are exempted from receiving overtime pay if they earn more than $455.00 per week, or about $23,660.00 every year. It was in 2004 when then-President George W. Bush set the $455-per-week threshold, which, at that time, was the first increase since the ‘70s. But President Barack Obama, who has already called for the increase in the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour, is making a change to it.

Recent reports revealed that he signed an executive order last March 13 proposing overtime rule changes that would hope to create better opportunities for salaried workers, especially those working in managerial positions, to receive extra pay.

The exact threshold amount is yet to be made known, but President Obama is instructing the U.S. Department of Labor on this. While the call for a federal wage increase that he proposed during his last State of the Union Address would require Congressional approval, this directive isn’t, although this might take a lot of time before this will become effective. It is projected that this move would affect those who are not compensated enough but are still exempted from receiving overtime, such as managers of fast food chains and convenience stores.

Meanwhile, a Los Angeles labor lawyer has mentioned that the proposed changes to the federal overtime rules have already been made in the State of California. Recently, the state set its threshold to $640.00 per week, and it is expected to increase once the increase in minimum wage kicks in this July. As the $8.00 rate in California rises to $9.00-per-hour, employees who earn salaries and are earning more than $720.00 would be exempted from overtime payments.