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I work in ocean city maryland for a restaurant. There are some

things i am not sure...
I work in ocean city maryland for a restaurant. There are some things i am not sure are legal or not and would love a legal opinion on certain things. The restaurant has started making employees pay for the credit card processing fees per use of credit card for tips to the tipped employees. (See labor code section 351). Furthermore,our employees are forced to pay for unpaid checks where our servers are not required to hold a bank but have to leave the patrons to cash the check out.
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Answered in 3 minutes by:
7/11/2013
wallstreetfighter
wallstreetfighter, Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 17,253
Experience: 14 years exp, General counsel for National Corp. firms, Hostos College instructor, Represented employees in discrimination lawsuits
Verified

wallstreetfighter :

Hello I am a licensed attorney here to help you with your question, please review my response and do not hesitate to ask for clarification

Customer: I cannot find where the question was answered
wallstreetfighter :

Please clarify the paycheck issues,

wallstreetfighter :

the servers have to pay for customers who do not pay?

wallstreetfighter :

In terms of credit card fees, this is common, An employer can deduct from charged tips no more than the credit card processing fees assessed on the charged tips.


When tips are charged on credit cards, an employer is not required to pay the employee’s pro-rated share of the service charge taken by the credit card company for the processing of the tip. The employer must return to the employee the full amount of the tip charged on the credit card, minus the pro-rated portion of the tip taken by the credit card company.

Customer: At the end of each evening the server reports are printed and 2% of credit card tips are removed to pay for the processing fees. As for the non payment of checks servers must pay for the check when ive been told that an employer in maryland cannot make you pay the bill for the customer who left without paying
wallstreetfighter :

A server cannot be forced to pay for customers who did not pay,

wallstreetfighter :

that would be a clear violation of the wage laws,

Customer: This has been the case for my 5 years as an employee with checks larger than 200 at times being covered by employees.
Customer: easily tens of thousands of dollars of mispaid money taken from employees
wallstreetfighter :

do they take tips out or is it from salary?

Customer: from tips. Salary or the 3.68 hourly is taken for tax coverage
wallstreetfighter :

Your restaurant cannot charge you for customer walkouts or breakage.


Employees are not responsible for financial losses due to customers not paying bills or for theft of the restaurant’s property. Restaurants cannot make deductions for spoilage, breakage, or cash shortages. Nor can a restaurant deduct money from your pay as a fine or penalty for lateness or other misconduct.

wallstreetfighter :

Division of Labor and Industry


Office Location:


1100 North Eutaw Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday - Friday
Ph:(NNN) NNN-NNNNbr/>Web: www.dllr.state.md.us/labor/wagepay/wpremedies.htm


 

wallstreetfighter :

You should file a complaint with the State labor department,

wallstreetfighter :

unless you signed some contract allowing such deductions, this is not legal

wallstreetfighter :

under the FLSA, an employer is not permitted to take a “tip credit” in relation to minimum wage with respect to an employee if it retains any of the employee’s tips. If an employer is making use of a “tip credit” to pay its employees less than minimum wage and improperly retains tips that should be given to or kept by employees, these employees may have a right to recover money in court under the FLSA.

Customer: youre the man. I will have to check on the employment conditions to see if that is covered but i am almost positive that there is no mention of such a waiver
Customer: To be clear...servers must pay out of pocket for unpaid checks
Customer: and that is illegal
wallstreetfighter :

yes

Customer: Is there anyway you could send this transcript to my email?
wallstreetfighter :

once you accept you can have this sent to your email,

Customer: awesome. One last question. For call in shifts...is there any compensation due to employees? By call in shift, i mean you wait all day and call in at a certain time to see if you are needed to work.
wallstreetfighter :

When management requires a server to pay for a walkout out of his/her pocket, the hourly wage is dropped below the minimum allowable by law. The exception occurs when you are paid more than the minimum wage and the walkout deduction would not bring you below

wallstreetfighter :

you can claim on call time, however you have to be required to be near or at work, and not be able to enjoy the day off,

wallstreetfighter :

If you are required to pay for non paying customers, and your wages fall below minimum wage, you have a valid lawsuit, under the FLSA,

Customer: Correct. We cannot drink or be away from work but on call and ready to work until they say otherwise
wallstreetfighter :

If you cannot be away from work, you may have a lawsuit for unpaid wages as well for being on call,

Customer: For the walk out issue. They get other employees to help cover the walk out which helps the. Rain the correct amount of wages to keep them over the minimum wage. The minimum wage is the normal wage not tipped employee minimum wage right?
Customer: helps them retain not rain. Sorry
wallstreetfighter :

if you're a server whose employer is saddling you with bills that customers refuse to pay, the U.S. Department of Labor wants to hear from you. Call its help line at 1-866-487-9243.

wallstreetfighter :

If the server does not fall below the minimum wage, the violation would not be major, however the practice is a violation of the FLSA,

Customer: Youve been a huge help. Thank you sir.
Customer: Will it send to my email automatically?
wallstreetfighter :

Good luck, and consider filing a complaint with the labor board,

wallstreetfighter :

yes,

wallstreetfighter :

once you provide positive feedback, it will be sent to you.

wallstreetfighter
wallstreetfighter, Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 17,253
Experience: 14 years exp, General counsel for National Corp. firms, Hostos College instructor, Represented employees in discrimination lawsuits
Verified
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wallstreetfighter
wallstreetfighter
wallstreetfighter, Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 17,253
17,253 Satisfied Customers
Experience: 14 years exp, General counsel for National Corp. firms, Hostos College instructor, Represented employees in discrimination lawsuits

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