Sue Your Restaurant
not illegal to be a dickÖ
But a dick is likely to do a lot of illegal things.
Watch for such behavior in your restaurant and get friendly with your
state's fair labor practices board. Contacting state agencies is not easy, I have learned, and you have to be
both patient and willing to be assertive and to ask for much clarification.
If you are in a questionable situation, keep a detailed diary of the events. Document, document, document!!! Describe exactly what was said and done without inserting your emotions if possible. Note any witnesses, and get these people's contact information in case they eventually quit. Note instances of when you are reprimanded for something that others routinely get away with. Get your friends to provide you with written testimony. Don't let the bosses intimidate you, since restaurant jobs are a dime a dozen these days!
Manager asks you to clock out but to continue
working. Manager asks you to
clock out to avoid overtime pay but wants you to continue working and put
the hours on next week's timesheet.
Management forces you to continue waiting on a table
which is sexually harassing you.
Management tells you you must wait until you are sat
with your first table to punch in, even though you were scheduled for a
specific earlier time.
Management takes a cut of the servers' tips.
Management requires servers to pay (i.e. "tip
out") other workers, usually those which make a standard minimum or
above-minimum wage which is often double the server's wage.
Management fails to raise the paltry server hourly wage
when the national minimum goes up; servers generally should get a small
percentage of the increase. If
management is slow about adjusting the correct rate, you deserve back pay.
Restaurant requires you to work your sub-minimum waiter
wage for work which is *not* tipped, say, hosting, major cleaning, prep
work, or even putting up holiday decorations.
Management makes disparaging comments about your sexual
orientation, religion, or ethnic background.
Management routinely hires only certain ethnicities for
certain jobs (such as dishwasher) and keeps certain ethnicities out of
certain other jobs (such as server or host).
Management asks you to clean
up biohazard substances such as blood, vomit, or feces, without proper
protection or training.
Management forces you to pay for mistakes on checks or
Management singles you out for punishment for
infractions others are not punished for, reduces your hours, or demotes you
for testifying for another employee to an attorney or court.
Management takes you off the schedule immediately after
you give your two weeks' notice. You may be eligible for
unemployment. (Restaurant management does this so regularly that most
servers I know no longer bother to give notice. They just get another
job and disappear rather than risk losing the cash.)
Management instructs you to place furniture or objects in a manner which you know is a fire hazard and may cause danger to the public or void the property's
buildings insurance, or to set up way too many tables for busy days such as Valentine's Day or Mother's Day, which you know is an occupancy violation.
Management discourages you from filling out an injury
report if you are involved in an on-the-job accident.
(Fill it out that very day or risk losing worker's compensation!)
Management forbids or threatens discussion of labor organization.