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Media Coverage: Womens’ Justice Organization says Some Georgia Restaurant Workers Unfairly Paid

Media Coverage: Womens’ Justice Organization says Some Georgia Restaurant Workers Unfairly Paid

WABE 90.1 FM (Atlanta’s NPR)
Reported by: Michelle Wirth
August 8, 2013
Click here to listen to the interview.

An organization that focuses on justice for working women says some Georgia restaurant workers don’t get the amount of pay their entitled to.

Under federal law, employers have to pay restaurant workers who receive tips a minimum of two dollars and 13 cents per hour. But if what workers receive hourly plus tips equal less than $7.25, the federal minimum wage, the employer is supposed to make up the difference. However, 9to5 Georgia chapter director Charmaine Davis says that doesn’t always happen.

“What we found reaching out to tip workers that many didn’t know that was a requirement and definitely weren’t being compensated when they didn’t make up the difference between the $2.13 and the federal minimum wage by their employer.”

 But Davis says a number of locally-owned restaurants like Noni’s on Edgewood Avenue are doing the right thing. Matt Ruppert is owner and operator of the restaurant. He says he currently pays his tip workers, $4.00 per hour plus tips and makes up the difference if their pay doesn’t equal the federal minimum wage.

“Really it comes back to me twofold. My staff understands that I treat them fairly, so they want to work hard for me.”

Rupert has also given several kitchen employees raises and is in the process of giving others a boost in pay.