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Hodges & Foty, LLP > Overtime & Unpaid Wages  > Are Waiters and Waitresses Entitled to Be Paid the Federal Minimum Wage?

Are Waiters and Waitresses Entitled to Be Paid the Federal Minimum Wage?

Legally reviewed by David W.Hodges and Don J. Foty

If you are working in the service industry, including as a waiter, waitress, or server, you may have questions about your payment rights. Understanding what your employers are required to pay you, the payment you are entitled to, and other rights surrounding your employment can help you protect yourself and the wages you rightfully deserve. However, you do not have to face legal challenges with your pay alone. In the dynamic and complex employment law landscape, Hodges & Foty, LLP is a formidable advocate for employee rights all over the U.S.

With over four decades of experience, our firm has adeptly represented thousands of clients, securing millions in settlements across a myriad of cases, including wage and hour disputes. Our notable achievements, particularly in securing fair wages for workers, underscore our firm’s commitment to ensuring employees are compensated following federal standards, including the federal minimum wage. If you want more information about the legal actions you can take, contact us by calling (713) 523-0001 or completing our contact form.

Are Waiters and Waitresses Entitled to Federal Minimum Wage?

All employees are entitled to a full minimum wage per hour, whether they receive tips or otherwise. The minimum wage is determined by either state or federal law. Federally, minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, meaning every employee across the U.S. should be paid a minimum of $7.25 per hour of work. 

However, some state laws may indicate that tips may make up part of the minimum wage for employees as long as this minimum hourly wage is reached. This means that some employers are legally allowed to pay less than the federal minimum wage as long as employees receive tips that make up the balance.

Essentially, federal and state laws both indicate that employers are allowed to pay employees less than the minimum wage as long as employees also receive sufficient payment in tips to make up the difference. However, employers in certain states must also pay their tipped employees a state mandated minimum per hour. For example, in Texas, this minimum is $2.13 an hour.

In some states, like California, the minimum wage for tipped employees is not different from wages for other jobs. This means that any tips belong solely to the waitress or waiter who has earned them, and they can take home this money in addition to their regular minimum wage.

How Can an Employment Lawyer Help You With Your Wage Claim?

If you want to file a wage claim to ensure you receive adequate compensation for your hard work, we can help. The team of attorneys at Hodges & Foty, LLP can support you in many ways, including but not limited to the following:

  • Conducting an independent investigation
  • Preparing your case for court
  • Consulting with experts
  • Assuring that all documents are filed correctly and promptly
  • Communicating with the other parties on your behalf
  • Organizing and presenting the evidence
  • Accessing research methods and tools only available to legal professionals
  • Providing an understanding of the legal system and how to make it work for you

Please refrain from taking legal action alone, which can result in less than optimal compensation and undue stress. Working with an attorney from Hodges & Foty, LLP makes you far more likely to walk away with a satisfactory outcome. We invite you to contact us at your earliest convenience to get started.

Fight for Fair Treatment as an Employee: Contact Hodges & Foty, LLP Today for Outstanding Representation

Are you a waiter or waitress questioning if your wages align with federal standards? At Hodges & Foty, LLP, we understand the complexities of employment law, especially regarding the rights of those in the hospitality industry. If you are unsure whether you are receiving the federal minimum wage you are entitled to, it is crucial to seek legal guidance. Do not let your concerns go unanswered; let us help you navigate the intricacies of your employment rights and fight for the wages you deserve.

To discuss your case and explore your options, contact Hodges & Foty, LLP today for a case evaluation. Our dedicated attorneys are ready to provide you with extensive trial experience and support to address your wage concerns. Reach out to us by calling (713) 523-0001 or filling out our contact form. At Hodges & Foty, LLP, we are here to protect your rights and help you secure the compensation you are rightfully owed.

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