Wage theft is on the rise in the restaurant industry

On Behalf of | Sep 26, 2021 | Wage And Hour Claims

Restaurant work has always been challenging. It typically involves working long hours for little financial reward. How much you earn often depends on how your customers feel or how much you’re willing to put up with their bad behavior. 

A series of reports from One Fair Wage suggests that restaurant work has become even less appetizing during the last year. An earlier survey found that sexual harassment had increased significantly. The latest study shows that wage theft has also increased.

How are restaurant owners violating wage laws?

The latest One Fair Wage survey found that 75% of workers said their tips had dropped during the last year.

  • 84% of restaurants investigated were found to have committed minimum wage violation
  • 47% of workers polled did not get paid time and a half for the overtime they worked
  • 35% of workers polled said their wage plus tips did not add up to the state’s minimum wage

To add insult to injury, 54% of the restaurant workers surveyed said they experienced more customer hostility this year than a year ago. Often this was to do with the rules restaurants are required to implement. When workers try to enforce them, customers are more likely to abuse them, reducing the tips that they leave.

The survey suggests many employers in the restaurant sector have failed to make the connection between how you treat staff and your ability to keep them. Over half of the workers surveyed said they were thinking about quitting their job. 

Often there’s little government regulators can do to ensure that employers treat workers well aside from prohibiting discrimination and a few other behaviors. They can require employers to meet the minimum standards that employment laws dictate. If your employer is stealing your wages, you need to find out more about recouping your losses.