Hi, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I thank you for your inquiry. I have been practicing Employment law
for 19+ years and look forward to assisting you. (I also worked the restaurant industry for nearly 10 years, some time ago.) With regard to your post:
I work for a restaurant in Jasper, Alabama, Walker County. I am the manager and also do some waiting on tables for tips, plus my regular management duties, i.e. scheduling, product ordering, making sure receipts for day are documented and money put on bank, plus others miscellaneous tasks My salary is 600.00 per week plus tips. I was appoached by the owner this week (Oct. 30, 2013) and he informed me my pay was being reduced to $475.00 per week, and I would have to wait tables more to supplement the difference in pay. Ouch. Tough times.
In addition I would still be the manager and need to fulfill my management duties as well. I also only get two half days off, (half a day Monday, and half a day Sunday). Ugh, managing restaurants is so very grueling.
On the days I work I do get a three hour break, unless there is a problem, then as the manager, i have to take care of it. My question is: Is any of this legal? especially the reduction in pay and no demotion, but more work load for me. Yes, it is legal. It is legal because unless you have a written contract to the contrary, both you and the employer can terminate any current arrangment at any time. You can then agree to a new arrangment, or not agree. Here, it would appear that your employer is terminating the arrangment where you made $600/wk. He can do that. However, he is not leaving you without a new job offer (which he is not obligated to do). He has offered you a new job position that pays $475 and requires XYZ. It is less attractive, certainly. If it is attractive enough, you may decide to agree to it. If it is not attractive enough to suit you, you can decline the new job offer. The reverse would also be true. Let's say you decided that cost of living has gone up, gasoline, commuting cost, etc., and that given the years you've been in your occupation, a raise in pay is in order. You could tell your boss that you are no longer in agreement about your current wage and will be leaving, unless you can secure an $X increase in wage. He either gives you what you demand, or you leave him.
With regard to break times and hours, AL tends to leave it up to the federal rules, which do not require breaks be provided. Moreover, if you are appropriately exempt from overtime and minimum wage requirements (as management), then there is no help there either - they leave it up to you to determine if the compensation is worthwhile to you - or not.
I know it is frustrating - but the law is generally one that leaves much in the hands of the employer - and in the restaurant industry, that whole other pay scale situation arises due to the tipping aspect. It can be quite abused, certainly. And I wish it were easier. Do you think the employer is seeking to be greedy at your expense or do you think that his botXXXXX XXXXXne is tighter and cuts simply have to be?
I hope this helps! My goal is to provide you with excellent and accurate service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Kindly rate me "excellent" when you are done. I look forward to assisting you in the future, should you have legal questions. Be sure to start future posts with "To Alexia Esq., ONLY" if you want me to specifically answer it.
Sincerely, XXXXX XXXXX
Your online legal resource!