U.S. Department of Labor Initiative Focuses on Helping Restaurants In Wisconsin Comply With Wage Laws

(Milwaukee, WI – Insurance News 360) – To ensure that restaurants in Wisconsin comply with federal wage laws, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) is running an education and enforcement initiative several areas. The project will offer compliance assistance tools and education to employers and industry stakeholders. Those efforts will be focused in these communities: the cities of Oshkosh, Neenah, Menasha, Appleton, Little Chute, and Kaukauna as well as Milwaukee’s East Side neighborhoods.

The WHD will work with organizations in the areas to determine the best way to provide tools and information to make it easier for businesses to maintain compliance with wage laws and the requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

This initiative raises awareness among employers, employees, community organizations, and others regarding federal wage and hour laws,” said Wage and Hour District Director David King, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. “Our ultimate goal is to increase industry-wide compliance. With more than 200,000 people employed in food-service jobs in Wisconsin, the Wage and Hour Division wants to make sure everyone knows and follows the rules.”

Over the past three fiscal years investigations by WHD have found that common violations include employing servers to work only for tips; paying servers overtime at one-and-half times their direct cash wage rather than the full federal minimum wage; pooling tips illegally; misclassifying employees as independent contractors and then failing to pay them minimum wage and overtime; and failing to combine hours employees worked at multiple locations when determining when overtime is due.

The FLSA requires that covered, nonexempt employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for all hours worked, plus time-and-one-half their regular rates for hours worked beyond 40 per week. An employer of a tipped employee is required to pay no less than $2.13 an hour in direct wages, provided that amount plus tips received equals at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. If an employee’s tips – combined with the employer’s direct wages – do not equal the minimum wage, the employer must make up the difference. Employers also are required to provide employees notice of the FLSA tip credit provisions and to maintain accurate time and payroll records.

For more information about the FLSA and other federal labor laws, call the division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information also is available at https://www.dol.gov/whd.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor.

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