Sometimes unique workplace situations lead to creative solutions, but those solutions aren’t always, well, legal. Legal Sea Foods’ location at the Philadelphia International Airport has two positions that apparently exist nowhere else in the chain: silverware rollers.
The restaurant employs two workers whose sole function is to keep the restaurant’s customers supplied with clean, neatly rolled silverware.
The airport Legal Sea Foods must also comply with a minimum wage law no other restaurant in the chain does: Philadelphia’s new living wage law. It requires any business leasing from a landlord that receives economic development funds from the city to pay at least 1½ times the minimum wage—which comes to $10.88 per hour. The law took effect July 1.
Because the silverware rollers received no tips,at the restaurant required all other employees to contribute $5 per shift to ensure the workers’ pay plus tips met the minimum wage. No one complained and the practice went swimmingly.
But then the Philadelphia ordinance took effect, and management sent a memo to workers telling them they would now have to contribute $8 per shift to keep the silverware rollers afloat.
That was too much for restaurant employee Dave Anglin, who complained to a manager. Her explanation didn’t satisfy him, so he called Philadelphia Daily News columnist Ronnie Polaneczky. Polaneczky contacted Legal Sea Foods corporate headquarters in Boston to ask about the policy. Their reaction was … uh, what? They flew two representatives to Philadelphia to investigate.
Corporate executives apparently had no knowledge of the pay contributions and immediately ended the practice. Then they fully refunded all the workers who had been forced to contribute to the silverware rollers’ fund.
Advice: Establish procedures to ensure your attorney reviews all pay disputes. That will help keep you from being blindsided. Legal Sea Foods’ in-house lawyers acted quickly to correct the problem once they learned of it.
Final note: Legal Sea Foods could have included the silverware rollers in a tip-pooling program, but that would have depended on the amount of total tips received. Too little and the company would have had to make up the difference to equal at least the least minimum wage.
Taking a specified amount from other employees is never acceptable.
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/20000/philly-airport-legal-sea-foods-wraps-up-odd-pay-policy "
- Making paycheck deductions in New York is dangerous business
- Layoff and then a walkout: What's our COBRA obligation?
- Solid salary plan beats equal pay lawsuits
- It follows California contract law: Employees have 4 years to sue for ERISA benefits
- 5th Cir. Court of Appeals rejects DOL interpretation of guest worker minimum-wage requirement