Be sure to know the laws that protect service industry workers. 

 

Protect Service Industry Workers

 

Whether you work in a hotel or a bar, the common mentality seems to be, do as you're told and don’t ask questions. Maybe in your place this means tipping out everyone under the sun or working 5 back to back doubles.

However, regardless of where you work and who owns the establishment, you have rights. The Department of Labor has regulations that dictate everything from your hours to your wages. You don’t have to put up with unfair treatment just because you’re in the service industry.  

 

Let’s Talk About Money 

 

 

 

Your Wage

 

This is a tricky one. Wage laws are constantly in flux in America and it can be hard to keep up. Every state is different, but rules govern what your employer has to pay you. In some states tipped workers must receive the federal minimum wage (currently $7.25), while in others employers are exempt from this requirement. Now is a good time to whip out that pay stub and see what you’re getting.  Find the laws for your state HERE. If you’re not being paid the correct amount you can file a complaint with the Department of Labor. Go HERE for some frequently asked questions.

 

 

Tip-Outs

 

Ok, so you probably make most of your money from tips, not from your hourly rate.  Every establishment does things slightly differently, but it’s standard practice to tip out bartenders, busboys, etc.  However, even though the tip out procedure varies from place to place, laws govern who is eligible to receive these payouts and who is not. For instance, there is no requirement to tip out maintenance workers, chefs and managers. For more info, go HERE.

 

Keeping Your Tips

 

You, as a tipped employee, should be keeping all of your earned tips (excluding valid tip pooling of course).  The owner can never take any of this money from you.  Also, if your employer is taking weeks to dole out your money, they may be in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.  Contact the Department of Labor if you think there’s an issue.

Also, if your combined tips and wages do not equal the federal minimum wage, your employer may be responsible for making up the difference.

 

Overtime

 

Despite the variations across the country, all tipped employees should receive overtime after 40 hours of work. Additionally, this overtime should be calculated using the full minimum wage as a base, not the lower, exemption wage. Go HERE for more info.

 

Regulations on Hours

 

 

There are tons of regulations on hours, breaks, and pay. However, they vary wildly from state to state. Generally, for every certain amount of hours worked, you should receive a “meal” or “rest” break. There are also laws governing how much you are owed for “split-shifts:" days when you might have to work from 9am-3pm and then again from 5pm-10pm.  

While you may have heard that you are owed a certain amount of hours between shifts, there actually isn’t a legal requirement for this.  However, there are people working towards putting this in place. Hopefully that will signal the end of “clopening”.

 

Miscellaneous Expenses

 

Although yet again, these rules vary state by state, it may be illegal for a restaurant to charge you for walk-outs, cash register shortages, and other random mishaps.  Your employer may even be responsible for paying for your uniform and its upkeep.  

Look up the laws in your area if you think you’re being illegally held accountable for any costs. 

 

A Safe Workplace

 

You are entitled to a safe and healthy work environment.  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration enforces regulations on workplace safety.  They are also the ones to go to if you have any questions or would like to report unsafe conditions.  Visit their site HERE for more info or to file a complaint, which you can do anonymously.

Note: It is 100% illegal for your employer to retaliate against you if you file a complaint.  Dontact the Department of Labor or a lawyer if you are treated unfairly.

 

 

Injured on the Job

 

If you hurt yourself on the job, you may be eligible for Workers’ Compensation from your employer. HERE is a handy little fact sheet about the requirements for filing a workers’ comp claim.

We take your safety and rights very seriously.  However, we are neither a government agency nor are we lawyers.  If you feel you are being mistreated or have questions about the laws in your area, contact the appropriate department.

 

Want to connect with people at your bar in a whole new way? Download the BOTY App on iTunes or Google Play for free!

 

Why is it so hard saving when your entire income is cash? You’d think it would be easier when you can physically see all your hard earned dough disappearing. And yet, it's infinitely harder to save when you're taking home your salary every night instead of twice a month.

 

Bartender Saving Saving Saving Tricks Bartender Saving Tricks

 

We get it, that's why we've rounded up some tricks we think will help you keep some of that green.

 

Deposit That Money!

 

First things first, you can never save if you don't actually put your money, or most of it, in the damn bank!  It’s very hard to keep track of what you're accumulating week to week when there's a constant two-way flow of cash out of your wallet.

So, we recommend designating one day a week to count up and deposit all of your money.  My "week" ends on a Tuesday.  So every Tuesday I go down to the office and count up everything I've made that week.  Then I go right to the ATM and deposit it!  By doing this consistently, you’ll actually know how much you’re making for once.  The first step to saving really is keeping track!

 

 

Pay Yourself First

 

You may have heard your mom tell you this before, but it really works.  Choose one bill every month, like a credit card payment.  Then, every time you pay that bill, transfer the same amount as that payment into your savings account.  After a while, this starts to add up.  This method is also a good way to save for something specific, like a vacation. It's relatively painless since you're already doling out some cash, so why not feed your own piggy bank at the same time?

 

 

Be Realistic and Relax

 

When I started my current job I decided to put $100 a week into savings.  I wanted to see the numbers climb quickly, but it just wasn't doable.  So, I bumped it down to $75, giving me an extra $200 as a cushion for the month.  And, if on the last day I still had that money, I put it into savings.  What we mean by relax is, don’t put too much pressure on yourself.  The most important thing is that you save consistently.  It will start to accumulate; you just have to give it time.

 

 

Buy That Coffee, But Save At the Same Time

 

 

Sometimes it’s life's little luxuries that get you through the day.  If you look forward to that double mocha frappe every afternoon, and if you can truly afford it, get it!  Then, transfer the same amount that coffee cost you into savings.  Or, put $3 into a separate part of your wallet or an envelope and watch the money pile up.  It may not seem like a lot, but at the end of the year, you could find yourself with upwards of $1000 in extra savings!

 

 

Change Your Mindset Around Money and Saving

 

Whenever I spend money on something frivolous, like a taxi home because I'm feeling lazy, I try to think of that expense in different terms. For instance, you may not think twice about spending that $20 on a cab three times a week, but you wouldn't go to H&M and buy twelve new T-shirts a month would you?  While the goal isn't to shame yourself, sometimes we all need a bit of perspective.

 

 

Be Consistent about Saving

 

We know that this can be nearly impossible when you depend on tips, but it can be done. You may have to set a slightly lower number than you originally would have liked to, in order to account for slow weeks, but if you save the same amount every week, or even every month, you'll be on your way to building a solid little nest egg.  Knowing you're secure is truly the best feeling.

 

Want to connect with people at your bar in a whole new way? Download the BOTY App on iTunes or Google Play for free!

 

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