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View Diary: Need help with wage theft question. (33 comments)

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  •  This is illegal, period. (11+ / 0-)

    An employer cannot unilaterally assess a payroll deduction for a kitchen meal. The employer can make the kitchen meal an optional program, and require employees to pay for it thru a payroll deduction that they choose.

    Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

    by absdoggy on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 06:49:35 PM PST

    •  Thanks. That's what I thought. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cai, Lujane

      Gotta figure out what the next legal/prudent course of options might be.

      You can't spell CRAZY without R-AZ. (and donate to Bill!)

      by rb608 on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 06:56:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not so fast. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Thestral, Lujane, VClib, martini, rb608

      I'm pretty sure that is a legal deduction, especially since all these employees are working over meal times and are presumed to be given time to eat.  The cost is two dollars a day and basically covers the food cost and the Country Club is not realizing a profit on the employee meals for the kitchen.  Most of the time the kitchen staff eats whether or not they are supposed to and whereas most places are more liberal with the kitchen staff and food than with front-of-the-house, the group meal is actually a way of keeping the costs down.

      Your young man should eat, because he is paying for it. If he really doesn't eat any food it would be easier for him to quietly milk the clock a total of an hour a week than to change the deduction policy.  I'm not suggesting he should do that, just acknowledging that it is a common practice.

      •  So you assume employees steal? nt (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rb608

        I worked hungry in far to many kitchens to think that. Also AFAIK after working in a kitchen most employees are disinclined to eat there. At least I was.

        "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

        by Horace Boothroyd III on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 02:57:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No. In most kitchens it's standard practice for (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mrs M, rb608, MGross

          line cooks in a restaurant to eat a meal whether or not they pay, even if it's only to consume accidental or erroneous orders, which are otherwise garbage. Eating garbage isn't stealing. One rational for feeding line cooks is that it reduces those errors, and another is that it reduces turnover, since cooks are rarely paid well.  I'm sorry that shift meals weren't part of your experience.  

          Dish washers are a grey area. In one kitchen I worked in, a young dishwasher was so hungry he was eating food off dinner plates coming back to the kitchen.  Subsequently, the line cooks quietly prepared a meal for him at the start of his shift.  Personally, I think if you are hungry, you eat.  It's a luxury to turn down food because of boredom, but that's probably my Third World upbringing. Workers ate the food in every restaurant I've worked in; I think when they don't it  is pretty damning for the establishment.

          The rational for the deduction is that since the food establishment is required to provide a half hour meal time for their employees during the parameters of the dinner hour, which they mostly can't do, the small charge for food proves the employee had time to eat.  A lot of kitchens allow the cooks' meals to be to-go a the end of the shift when there is a deduction for shift meals.  

      •  No, it's not a legal deduction, you can't force it (0+ / 0-)

        Whether they realize a profit on it or not, you can't force the employees to participate in an employee meal program.

        Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

        by absdoggy on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 05:50:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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