Employment Law Cases
Kacy Hagerty: Well, today with The Higgins Firm, we’re talking about few interesting employment law cases to find out what’s happening right now. Attorney Jim Higgins with The Higgins Firm recently stopped by with the scoop.
Jim, great to have you back.
Jim Higgins: Thank you.
Kacey Higgins: All right, I know you guys have a big law employment law section at your firm. So, have you seen any new cases lately? What are you guys watching?
Jim Higgins: Oh, the hot list. Well, you know, right now there’s a few interesting cases out. One; there’s been several cases by cheerleaders against NFL teams, saying that they aren’t getting paid minimum wage. And, what it is just traditionally a lot of these NFL teams have paid their cheerleaders, you know, $50 a game or $100 a week.
And, of course, most of these women, you know, they tryout, they compete. They really want to be on it, but - so that - I don't think there’s been a lot of complaints, but after they get on it, according to these lawsuits, it’s just a really time consuming process. They have to go to practice.
Kacy Hagerty: Yes.
Jim Higgins: They have to go to events. They’re told, you know, what they can do and what they can’t do. And, so some cheerleaders and the Bengals, I think the Raiders, and a couple of others have said, “Hey, if I’m going to do all of these, at least, pay me minimum wage.”
Kacy Hagerty: For sure.
Jim Higgins: It’s - that’s when an interesting cases see how that’s going to go and another minimum wage overtime case, Dominos, and I believe it was one of the big pizza chains, has been hit because they were paying all of their drivers just what we call a tip wage, which you only have to pay $2.13 an hour if they get tips.
Kacy Hagerty: Right.
Jim Higgins: But, the problem was they were having their drivers doing all sorts of things, cleaning, and making the pizzas, and doing inventories, but they were still paying them only that $2.13 an hour. So, that case is about to resolve and it’s going to be about, I think, $1.5 or something like that. It’s a pretty significant case for the area.
Kacy Hagerty: Yes.
Jim Higgins: It was in. Those are two big wage cases we’ll see. And, whenever there are those types of cases, they seem to spring similar cases. We all - when we read about them in the paper, we get calls from local people that say, “Hey, that’s happening to us.”
Kacy Hagerty: Yes.
Jim Higgins: And, we’ll be pursuing similar things.
Kacy Hagerty: I was wondering that - have you guys seen any cases here locally like that?
Jim Higgins: Yes, you know, we have - not the cheerleaders yet. But, we have had several restaurant cases where people are paid this wage or $2.13 an hour, but they’re really - they’re doing all sorts of work or they’re having to share their tips with managers, and owners, and they shouldn’t. You know, and that is a hard job to not get at least a full minimum wage or not get your overtime. So, we’ve had a lot of those over the past year.
Kacey Haberty: Yes, and quickly, if someone feels like they have a similar claim, when should they call you? At what point?
Jim Higgins: Call us immediately. They don’t always need us, but I’ll tell you, I don't mind talking to people on the phone and my employment lawyers don’t mind. And, a lot of it is they just need to know is this legal or is it not. And, sometimes, it may not seem right, but it may be legal, and it’s just important to know where you stand.
Kacy Hagerty: All right, Jim, thank you so much.
Jim Higgins: All right, thank you.
Kacy Hagerty: The Higgins Firm is serving Tennessee. Give them a call at 615-353-0930 or check out higginsfirm.com.