AZPizzaGuy wrote:I spoke with the Arizona labor board today and they have given the company the greenlight to pay $7.25 all the time whether you are on the road or in the store.
I am not sure I would use the term "given the company the green light" in this context. It makes it sound like the labor board is being nice to your employer. The labor is not being nice, the labor board is making it clear to your employer that the law will be enforced.
AZPizzaGuy wrote:When I asked how this doesn't run afoul of the 20% rule they were confused and had no idea what I was talking about. Eventually they realized it's a Federal rule and said they could do nothing about that since they only handle the state's laws.
Just curious... what is the name of the investigator that investigated these claims for you? While it may come to pass that your state is not required to enforce this rule, I highly doubt it. You may want to speak to that investigator's supervisor and/or obtain a free consult with a local labor attorney and ask them following questions
"In regards to the the US Department of Labor's 20% rule, must the Arizona Department of Labor enforce this rule?"
"Is the a 'fee shifting statute' that would apply to this issue?" If there is a fee shifting statute, there should be no reason why attorneys would not be willing to take your case, since your claims are basically a slam dunk.
"Does Arizona have a statute similar to RCW 49.46.120
." This statute basically means that the most favorable statute applies. So IF Arizona has one of these types of statutes (I have no idea if they do) then it would cause me to believe that it would mean that you could apply the 20% rule from the federal rules, which would then mean your employer, because they are violation of the 20% rule, would have to pay you the full $10/hr for all hours; as long as there continue to violate the 20% rule. It should also mean that you should receive damages for lost wages. Did your State DOL mention that you would be receiving any lost wages?
Also ask "Would my employer be liable for exemplary damages for the past lost wages?"
AZPizzaGuy wrote:So now I'll have to ask the Federal labor board about this and I'm beginning to suspect they will say that as long as the company is paying Federal minimum wage ($7.25) during the in-store hours there is nothing they can do as well since the $10 wage is a state law.
Yes, this might be the case. You really should speak to an experienced attorney that is familiar with Arizona State law and not simply trust the Arizona Department of Labor (or whatever they call it), since you never know if you are dealing with an employee that has a predisposition to rule in the employer's favor by applying the lowest standard of state law.
AZPizzaGuy wrote:So this will probably have to go before a court to see if the Federal rule applies to a state minimum wage that's higher than the Federal minimum wage. But I would really not be surprised to see this spreading as they are very certain they've found a loophole in the law.
Well, you are in luck. Arizona is in the 9th Circuit and their recent rulings in regards to tip credit may be helpful. So I would again suggest you seek competent legal representation. Have you (I cannot remember if it is you that is addressing this issue) spoken to any attorneys yet?