A federal appeals court on Wednesday said it did not need to defer to U.S. Labor Department guidance on employers’ obligation to pay tipped workers minimum wage for nontipped work, shooting down wage claims brought by former servers and bartenders in a batch of lawsuits.
In a 2-1 decision, a panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected claims against P.F. Chang’s China Bistro Inc, restaurant group American Blue Ribbon Holdings and several other companies brought by tipped employees who argued they should be paid the full minimum wage for tasks that do not generate tips, like cleaning and taking out the trash.
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