Hospitality work can be tricky business. It’s an industry that’s rooted in giving people an enjoyable, one-of-a-kind experience. From hotels and restaurants to baristas and bussers, employees in this field rely on tips to supplement hourly wages. And for most hospitality workers, tips are—more often than not—based on how you make that patron feel about the experience or service you’re providing.
In the state of Arizona, minimum wage is $7.90. Sometimes, hospitality workers can very easily be asked to work more than 40 hours each week without being paid overtime—or time-and-a-half for each hour worked beyond 40. So, when it comes to the bottom dollar, if hospitality workers aren’t given tips earned, unfairly asked to “tip out” fellow co-workers or compensated for overtime by their employers, Clifford Bendau of Bendau Law Firm says the employers are not conducting business or treating their employees in a lawful manner.
Bendau is a licensed attorney in both Arizona and Ohio who specializes in representing hospitality workers who do not get paid minimum wage, are unpaid for overtime hours worked, undertipped by an employer, unlawfully required to “tip out” to employees who are not customarily required to receive tips, among other services. His purpose for serving the community as a legal representative of hospitality workers is entrenched in a philosophy to: “Serve Arizona’s hospitality workers; protect the rights of Arizona employees, and recover unpaid wages for Arizona workers.”
Although moving to Ohio for law school, Bendau, an Arizona native couldn’t stay away forever. After three years, he returned to the Valley to help underserved members of the workforce. He believes that all employees, no matter their job titles, deserve to be fairly paid for the work they do.
“My practice is completely directed to representing members of the service industry and other hard working employees,” he says.
Bendau says that sometimes employees can easily be taken advantage of, especially if they don’t know the law or their rights, and he stresses that employers are treating their employees in an unlawful manner if they do not pay their employees for overtime.
“You have to be paid for every second you work,” Bendau says. “You have to be paid overtime—[1.5 times your normal amount of pay] for every hour worked over 40 hours. Any employer that fails to pay overtime is liable for improper payment of wages under Arizona and Federal law.”
Know your rights, but if you don’t, consulting Bendau can help you sort fact from fiction. Bendau offers free consultations and free legal representation.
Bendau Law Firm, 6350 E. Thomas Road, Suite 330, Scottsdale, 480.296.7887, bendaulaw.com