Can your boss pay you $4 an hour?

UPDATED: Dec 14, 2011

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Can your boss pay you $4 an hour?

I’ve worked for a guy who owns a restaurant and pays me $4 an hour and refuses to pay minimum wage or give me a W-2. I was wondering if I can get my back wages from him by taking him to court and, if so, how?

Asked on December 14, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you are in a "tipped" position--e.g. a waiter--then the employer is allowed to pay you less than minimum wage so long as the combination of what you are paid and what you are tipped brings you over minimum wage--this is called the "tip credit." On the other hand, if you don't get tips or if tips plus wage is less than minimum, your employer is violating the law. You could contact the state labor department to file a complaint; or you could speak with an attorney about suing. You could receive an amount equal to the difference between what you did earn and minimum wage for the time you've been working, and possibly other damages or compensation, too.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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