Minimum Wage: Basics You Should Know

by Evil HR Lady on September 8, 2017

Running a restaurant successfully requires more than just having great food; it’s also about having great staff and following the law. Minimum wage laws require that you pay your employees at a certain level, but even that can vary depending on whether an employee receives tips or not. Here’s what you need to know when you set pay rates for your employees.

Knowing the Laws

First and foremost, when paying your employees, you have to make sure you follow the law. Federal law requires that all workers earn a minimum wage in each state. But don’t tipped employees have a different rate? Yes and no. In most states, employees who receive tips can be paid a lower wage of $2.13 per hour, but their tips must be enough to make their total compensation meet the minimum wage, which is $7.25 per hour (the federal minimum) in a number of states. If it’s a slow night, it’s up to the boss to make up the difference.

To keep reading, click here: Minimum Wage: Basics You Should Know

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

grannybunny September 8, 2017 at 4:21 pm

Does any restaurant voluntarily “make up the difference” to its tipped employees for times when business is slow? How would the restaurant even be able to determine the correct amount? My family is heavily-involved in restaurant management — and I’ve had some personal involvement myself — and I’ve never heard of this.


Evil HR Lady September 8, 2017 at 4:25 pm

Whether or not they do it, is one thing, but it is the law.

Many tipped employees earn far more than minimum wage so it wouldn’t even need to be thought about, but in cheap or slow restaurants, it could come up often.


Slippy September 18, 2017 at 5:31 pm

It may happen, but it is rare. Applebees in my home state does not from personal experience. Most restaurant managers know that they can fire anyone who makes it an issue and the fired individual is unlikely to have the financial resources to take them to court. Also most/all restaurants mandate “side-work” which is not tracked and paid at the normal minimum wage.


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