Business Report 3/3/16: Illustrated Economics

Illustrated Economics - wage and hour violations

It's time for Howard's Illustrated Economics!

This morning, the Federal Government crack down on wage and hour violations.

That means, you work some extra hours today, and in some subsequent week when I haven't got any work for you, I'll pay you anyway, based on these extra hours you're working today.

In the restaurant business, some owners and managers have been making waiters share their tips with non-tipped employees, like the dishwashers in the back. Now, there's nothing wrong with a waiter voluntarily sharing tips with the person busing the tables. But it's illegal to make 'em do it. And a recent court decision, binding on Hawaii until or unless overturned, specifies it doesn't matter if the waiter makes more than minimum wage: her tips are her tips, period.

A running them in cases like this is the person charged with violating the law says everybody does it. There are two problems with that. First, everybody doesn't do it. Second, even if they did, it would still be illegal. Ignorance of the law is also no defense, so if you employ workers in your business, you risk a very unpleasant surprise if you don't familiarize yourself with the law.

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