Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Physical Law....

Have you ever been a witness to something that you wish you were not?  Not too long ago, I was a witness to a disagreement between a manager and a server that turned physical.  I wont go into details as the case is still pending, but for the sake of the narrative, I will say that it was caused by both a lapse of judgment, and ignorance of the law.

How many of you out there have had a table walk out on you and were told by your manager that you were REQUIRED to pay for it?  Lucky for me, I have not, but I know several who were.  First of all, here, in my state, that is ILLEGAL.  Further, a server has the right to demand his tips before he or she is let go for the evening if they did not finish their shift...e.g. fired.

So when a manager asks a server to pay for a walkout, and the server refuses, there is nothing the restaurant can do to that server.  If he or she is terminated, then there would logically be a lawsuit for wrongful termination.  Except in this case.  In this case, the tension was already high and nerves were already shot and both the manager and the server were on the verge of exploding....and explode they did -- all over a simple walkout and ignorance of the law.

Servers:  I urge you to look up your local labor laws.  Restaurants are notorious for bending the law to suit their bottom line (and so are most other companies).  They also try to get you to pay for things that they are not allowed to make you pay for, as well as help pay their labor costs through tip share scams.

Managers:  When you get promoted to your spot, you likely go through a few days or weeks of training.  I imagine that the law is not taught to you during this training, so please, take a little time and call the local labor board and ask them for a pamphlet of labor laws pertaining to your establishment.  You should also check into what constitutes harassment...not only sexual, but general harassment as well -- you know, like making a work environment to stressful to work in because a certain person is there.

If both parties involved in the scuffle where I work would have been more knowledgeable about the laws, their entire situation could have been avoided.

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