New Department of Labor Report: Rampant Wage and Hour Violations at Tampa Florida Restaurants

After conducting an exhaustive investigation of Tampa area restaurants, the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division released a scathing report that indicted the local restaurant industry of rampant minimum wage and overtime shenanigans.

The DOL’s Tampa office conducted 80-plus investigations of local restaurants. Officials found that the rights of over 800 employees had been trampled.

The division sent (unannounced) investigators to local restaurants to determine whether the businesses were complying with the Fair Labor Standards Act and other labor standards.

The violations that they found should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the work that we at Joseph & Kirschenbaum have done on New York restaurant wage and hour cases:

• Restaurants paid below minimum wage, forcing many workers to work just for tips;
• They calculated overtime for servers not based on the minimum wage but rather based on the servers’ base rates (prior to tips);
• They illegally dinged wages for register shortages, breakages, and “dash and dine” style walkouts, which often pushed wages far below the minimum hourly wage.

The DOL is taking a much tougher stance in 2013. If the DOL finds continued violations in the Tampa area, the division will pursue liquidated damages, civil penalties and back wages. This is a change from the past stance, when the division only sought back wages after violations.

Seeing the Tampa and New York City Wage and Hour Violation “Outbreaks” in Context

Our team believes it is critical to understand wage and hour cases in context. For whatever reason, many restaurants across the country have been treating workers unfairly and illegally.

Servers and other food service employees need to be paid fairly, so that they can plan their financial futures and pay their bills. If you or someone you love believes that an employer committed a wage and hour violation — or some other form of workplace malfeasance, such as discrimination or sexual harassment — the team here at Joseph & Kirschenbaum would like to know. Connect with us today for a free consultation at or (212) 688-5640.

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