Defending Against Hospitality Industry Wage and Hour Claims


While many businesses operate smoothly, disputes commonly arise regarding wage and hour violations. These types of claims can snowball out of control quickly, and for larger companies these disputes could involve thousands of employees. Wage and hour claims in the hospitality industry have the potential to cost companies millions, therefore, it’s important that all such disputes are reported immediately to management so the company and/or its in house lawyers begin working with an experienced employment lawyer.

The hospitality industry is particularly vulnerable to certain types of wage and hour claims. This industry sees a significant number of wage and hour disputes arising out of tip earnings, but also experiences overtime claims and other types of claims. Wage and hour claims can quickly become heated as the parties involved often have charged emotions. However, just because an employee feels they are not being paid enough doesn’t mean a violation has occurred.

Defending Against Hospitality Claims

A proactive approach to these types of claims can greatly reduce the risk of future wage and hour lawsuits. For example, employers need to have written protocols and procedures designed to discourage off-the-clock work. This type of work is a leading cause of hospitality industry claims. Employers also need to make sure employees are being classified correctly. One way to ensure proper employee classification is to perform an audit of all employees and their hours to confirm all requirements are being met for classification.

Many simple employment issues can arise and if not quickly addressed, can morph into larger problems. For instance, employees may complain that they were docketed for the short breaks they took, or weren’t paid overtime.When employers have a system in place to deal with internal complaints swiftly and efficiently, companies can prevent costly litigation.

Experienced Hospitality Lawyers

At MehaffyWeber, our labor and employment practice focuses on the prevention of workplace problems. We work with our clients to tailor plans to help our business clients comply with federal and state labor laws, reducing employee disputes. If wage and hour litigation arises, we work to resolve claims early to avoid the costs and burdens of expansive litigation. If litigation is the best approach, we aggressively defend our clients. If you are facing a hospitality wage and hour claim, contact us immediately for a consultation with one of our employment lawyers.