Representing Workers Who Rely On Tips

The restaurant and service industries are big business in Chicago and throughout Illinois. Many workers face long hours without getting the full pay they have earned. Wage theft in service industries is far too common. Employers often fail to understand how minimum wage, overtime pay, tip pooling, tip credit and similar laws apply to restaurant and service industry jobs. Other businesses may understand the law, but refuse to pay workers the full and honest wages they have earned.

Strong Advocacy For Restaurant And Service Industry Workers In Illinois

Since 1987, Billhorn Law Firm in Chicago has served as a staunch advocate for workers' wage and hour rights. The Fair Labor Standards Act and similar wage and hour laws in Illinois are highly technical. If your employer is not paying you a lawful wage, working with a lawyer who focuses on disputes and claims similar to yours is critical in obtaining the best possible outcome. For that reason, we devote all of our time and attention to fighting to obtain the back pay our clients have earned but have not been paid due to unlawful pay violations.

Common minimum wage calculation and wage theft problems that arise include:

  • Invalid use of tip credits: Employers may apply a portion of earned tips to satisfy minimum wage rules. However, abuses of the tip credit are common. Failing to pay any direct wage, failing to notify workers about the use of a tip credit or misapplying the rules can adversely impact a worker's overall income.
  • Unlawful tip pooling arrangements: Only workers who customarily and regularly receive tips may be included in a tip pooling scheme. In the restaurant industry, for example, back of house workers such as cooks and dishwashers, as well as managers and the owner of the establishment cannot participate in a valid tip pooling arrangement.
  • Dual roles in service industry establishments: Employees who work part time in one role in a traditionally nontip earning position, and part time in a separate role that receives tips in the same establishment must be paid minimum wage under two sets of rules related to each position in their dual roles. Service industry pay violations may result in unpaid overtime, unpaid wages and unlawful application of tip-related exceptions and rules that apply to calculating minimum wage.
  • Improper application of service charges to tip credits: While many restaurants apply a service charge to larger parties, the revenues are legally revenues for the restaurant and are not available for calculating minimum wage as a tip credit.
  • Applying an improper base rate for tipped workers in calculating overtime pay: The law requires employers to pay time and a half based upon the full $8.25 minimum wage in greater Illinois and $10.50 an hour in Chicago for all overtime hours, not the reduced direct pay rate prior to applying a valid tip credit.

Turn To 30 Years Of Experience To Get The Back Pay You Deserve

To discuss your grievances about your compensation as a tipped employee with an accomplished Illinois wage and hour attorney, call 312-445-9137 or 888-408-0401 toll-free or contact us online to request a free consultation. Traductor/intérprete disponible.