Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Florida Minimum Wage Increases in 2012

The new year will ring in a new raise for Florida workers who make minimum wage.Minimum wage will be rising by 36 cents to $7.67 per hour starting Jan.1. It’s about a five-percent increase.The increase will be approximately $14.40 to the paychecks of workers who put in 40 hours per week or about $750 extra a year. About 250,000 workers in Florida earn the minimum wage, mostly at restaurants, bars, and retail stores.For tipped employees, businesses will be required to pay $4.65 an hour.The last minimum wage increase was in June when the rate rose by six cents an hour. The rate increase in June came after the state decreased the minimum wage in 2010.Florida’s minimum wage increases are based on cost of living increases.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Restaurant Forced to Pay Server $127,000 For Unpaid Wages

In Lanzetta v. Florio’s Enterprises, Judge Denny Chin awarded $127,938.21 in back wages and damages to Carmella Lanzetta, a former waitress at Florio’s Restaurant in Little Italy.  During her four years at Florio’s, and in violation of both state and federal wage and hour laws, Florio’s compensated Lanzetta only with tips, never paying her an hourly wage and failing to pay her for overtime.  For the first two years of her employment at the restaurant, Florio’s forced Lanzetta to pay $160.00 in weekly withholding taxes, which Lanzetta paid from her tip income.  Even so, Florio’s would only remit $111.85 of this amount to the government, keeping the excess.  In addition, while Lanzetta regularly worked over ten-hour shifts, she was never paid for an additional hour of “spread-of-hours” pay.

In his Opinion, Judge Chin held that not only was Florio’s Restaurant liable for damages, but that its managers were as well.  Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), “employers” are liable for their violations of labor laws.  In Lanzetta, the court found that both of Florio’s managers held enough power and control to be considered “employers” under the law and therefore subjected them to personal liability for their wage and hour violations.

Little Italy restaurants are part of the wave of lawsuits against restaurants in Manhattan which make the complaint that restaurant worker rights are being violated under the FLSA and New York Labor Law.  SPQR is another popular Little Italy restaurant that was recently sued by waiters, bus boys, and bartenders.  The SPQR lawsuit alleges wage theft of tips by managers and unpaid overtime under the FLSA and the local labor Law.


FRIDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Having an abusive boss can do more than ruin your workday, it can also harm your family life, new research suggests.
The study, published online and in the winter issue of the journal Personnel Psychology, included 280 full-time employees and their partners who completed online surveys.
The Baylor University researchers found that the stress and tension an abusive boss causes an employee also affects the worker's partner, their relationship and the rest of the family.
However, the longer the employee-partner relationship, the less effect the abusive boss had on the family. The researchers also found that having more children at home meant greater family satisfaction for the employee.
"These findings have important implications for organizations and their managers. The evidence highlights the need for organizations to send an unequivocal message to those in supervisory positions that these hostile and harmful behaviors will not be tolerated," study author Dawn Carlson, a professor of management and chair of organizational development at the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor, said in a university news release.
Abuse by a boss may include tantrums, rudeness, public criticism and inconsiderate action, the study authors pointed out.
"It may be that as supervisor abuse heightens tension in the relationship, the employee is less motivated or able to engage in positive interactions with the partner and other family members," study co-author Merideth Ferguson, an assistant professor of management and entrepreneurship, said in the news release.
Businesses and other organizations should encourage workers to use employee assistance programs or other resources, such as counseling and stress management, to find ways to reduce the impact an abusive boss has on the family, the study authors said.