Court Rules In Favor Of Arizona Restaurants In Minimum Wage Case
Food and beverage workers earning tips are not also eligible for the federal minimum wage rate when they occasionally do work that is not directly serving customers.
Arizona labor attorney David Selden convinced the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that tracking time spent serving a customer versus preparing for a customer’s visit is both impractical for employers and loses sight of why customers tip.
“If a customer sits at the table and there is no silverware, or there’s trash on the floor, or the condiments haven’t been restocked, that will have some impact on tips,” Selden said.
Selden represented eight restaurant employers, but his win allows all 13 Western states to continue paying wait-staff-minimum wages — in most states. $2.17, plus tip.
Arizona already pays a $7, plus tip, wage for servers.
The court ruled employers must make up the difference if an employee’s tips, plus minimum wage, does not meet the federal minimum standard of $7.25 an hour.
Earlier this year, the 8th District Court of Appeals ruled in favor of food servers, which sets the argument up for a U.S. Supreme Court debate.