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Employment Principal Andrea Kirshenbaum Looks at the Department of Labor's Scrutiny of Wage Practices in the Hospitality Industry for HospitalityLawyer on Dec. 26

In a December 26 article for HospitalityLawyer's CONVERGE, Employment & Employee Relations Principal Andrea M. Kirshenbaum examines a recent Department of Labor (DOL) Wage Violation Study. The report details, among other things,  the financial and economic impact of minimum wage violations in California and New York on such areas as lost wages, taxes, government programs and poverty.

Ms. Kirshenbaum notes that the study also called out the concentration of wage violations in the hospitality industry, continuing a trend of aggressive enforcement of federal wage laws by the DOL against the industry.

She explains:

"Hospitality companies are particularly challenged by wage and hour issues, because they employ a large number of low wage workers in an industry that often has razor thin profit margins. But minimum wage is just part of the story. Overall wage and hour violations present similar if not greater risks to the industry. This includes challenges to the use of tip credits (as well as its use with employees who perform tipped and non-tipped roles), allegations of “off-the-clock” work, and alleged failure to pay for training time."

Ms. Kirshenbaum goes on to explain that "hospitality owners and companies can take definite and immediate steps to mitigate against the risk that alleged wage and hour violations present," including conducting proactive wage and hour audits of their organizations.