A restaurant kitchen manager recently filed a federal lawsuit seeking overtime pay from his former employer, an operator of a restaurant chain. The lawsuit contends that the restaurant’s pay practices violated both the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Arizona’s wage statutes, which mandate a minimum wage of $7.25/hour and $10.50/hour, respectively.
Specifically, the plaintiff’s suit alleges that he was hired at the restaurant for a flat rate per week. However, after six weeks on the job, he had still received no pay. When the plaintiff inquired about his owed wages, the restaurant immediately fired him, the suit contends. About one month later, the restaurant sent him a check, claiming that the check amount was “fair” compensation for all six weeks of his employment. But when divided over six weeks, the plaintiff’s check resulted in only $2.36 per hour—well below the mandated federal and state minimum wage, the suit alleges.
Further, the plaintiff contends that the restaurant violated Arizona law by failing to pay him all wages due within seven days of termination. The state statute provides that any party violating this rule “is guilty of a petty offense.”
Wage and hour violations such as the ones described above occur quite frequently in the restaurant industry. In addition to FLSA violations, it is important to be aware that many states have additional wage laws providing further rights to workers. If you believe you are not being paid the wages to which you are entitled, contact an experienced FLSA attorney to discuss what options may be available to you.
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