It seems restaurant employees such as servers, are some of the most mistreated and shortchanged employees working today. Employers seem to try and take as much out of the tipped employee’s pay as possible. Here are the facts to help you know about uniform regulations and what the boss can and cannot deduct from you pay.
DO I HAVE TO PAY FOR MY UNIFORM AT WORK?
No. There are two different scenarios: (1) You are required to purchase your own uniform, or (2) you are provided a uniform by your employer.
- Required to purchase. If you are required to purchase a uniform, your boss must reimburse you for the cost of your uniform by no later than the next payday. Your employer (boss) must reimburse you for the uniform even if you purchased it before you started the job.
- Uniform provided to you. If your employer provides you with a uniform, and you decide to purchase extra uniforms that may not be needed for the job, then your employer does not need to reimburse you.
DO I HAVE TO PAY FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF THE UNIFORM?
NO. If your boss makes you maintain your uniform, then your boss must pay you a weekly uniform maintenance reimbursement in addition to your wages. As of December 31, 2013, the maintenance fee is $9.95 per week for work weeks over 30 hours, $7.85 per week for work weeks of more than 20 but not more than 30 hours, and $4.75 per week for work weeks of 20 hours or less. However, your employer does not have to pay this if your uniform can be washed with your normal clothes or your employer provides a free laundry service. Maintaining required uniforms includes washing, ironing, dry cleaning, alterations, repair, or any other maintenance necessary.
WHAT IS MY EMPLOYER (BOSS) NOT ALLOWED TO DEDUCT FROM MY PAY?
Your employer (boss) cannot deduct the following from your pay:
- Non-payment from a customer;
- Cash shortages or losses;
- Fines or penalties for lateness, misconduct, or quitting by an employee without notice.
Additionally, your boss cannot deduct any expenses that you incur from work from your wages if your employer (boss) uses a tip credit. If your employer (boss) deducts from your wages when also using the tip credit, then your employer (boss) is failing to pay you minimum wage, which invalidates the tip credit. When your employer (boss) uses an invalid tip credit, you are legally entitled to be paid the amount of the tip credit taken and liquidated damages (double the amount of wages not paid). **
Lawful deduction. Your boss can deduct a credit card charge if your customer pays the tip by credit card.
If your employer (boss) has violated any of these regulations, then you should contact El-Hag & Associates, P.C today. The laws were put in place to protect working people and to make sure all employers play by the rules. Do not let violations slide and sacrifice your hard earned income for any reason.
**Disclaimer- You must prove all damages when bringing a lawsuit. Although you are legally entitled to be paid in accordance with the law, there are no guarantees that you will win all the money you are owed when bringing a lawsuit. You will however, be entitled to all damages provided under the law if all the necessary elements of a lawsuit are proven.