I’ve been working at the same restaurant for 7 years. My manager (also the owners son) recently just started giving his wife shifts. He doesn’t schedule the servers who have been loyal on the weekends now, which is where we make money. I used to only get the weekends off if I requested them off. Is this wrong? Legal?

  • Which country is it ? Mar 30, 2023 at 1:04
  • USA. We’re located in Texas. Mar 30, 2023 at 1:29
  • 9
    Find yourself another job - there will be a place that will value your skills and experience. Then the manager can give his wife ALL the shifts :) - that may not be popular...
    – Solar Mike
    Mar 30, 2023 at 13:55

3 Answers 3


Is this Legal?

This is legal if this is a private business where the owner owns the whole restaurant. In this case, unfortunately, there is not much you can do.

The reason this is legal is that it does not violate any labor law such as discrimination against workers based on race, age, gender, disability status, etc...

This is nepotism. However, it does not violate the labor law for private business.

  • 4
    It's legal if they make up for the loss of tips and ensure that they're still being paid the minimum wage, IIRC.
    – nick012000
    Mar 30, 2023 at 7:18
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    @Joe Strazzere He doesn't mean the employer is required to pay all the money they lost from the shift change, he is saying if the employee now makes less than minimum wage with tips, the employer is required to make up the difference which is definitely the law at least in my state and fairly sure in most if not all states.
    – Kupo
    Mar 30, 2023 at 13:20

It’s wrong, and it is legal. You could first complain to the owner who happens to be the managers dad. Nepotism is bad for the business, so there is a chance that he stops it.

The other possibility is for all the employees to agree not to come in on some days of until the nepotism stops. Again, inform the owner so when it costs the business money he knows why.

And the third possibility is to find a job elsewhere. The more employees do that, the better. Again, tell the owner. So he knows why his business loses money.

PS. “It’s legal” is not an argument if an employee (even the son of the owner) does something that is not illegal but hurts the business. Like moving profitable shifts to one particular employee.

  • Even better if all employees leave at once ;) There will be a lesson and a message.
    – virolino
    Mar 30, 2023 at 9:13
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    @JoeStrazzere unhappy employees in customer service positions are bad for business. Employees that leave or refuse to take shifts when you are shorthanded are bad for business.
    – Seth R
    Mar 30, 2023 at 13:28
  • Money has moved from old, experienced employees to the managers wife. That will cost the owner money. And while someone has to cover unpopular shifts, the popular shifts have been removed through nepotism.
    – gnasher729
    Mar 30, 2023 at 22:43

Is it Wrong?

You could make an argument that it's nepotism and it's wrong.

Is it Legal?

Almost certainly.

  • Just saying: The manager is damaging the business. So the question is for how long the owner will put up with this. Like “sorry son, but your wife cannot work in this restaurant”.
    – gnasher729
    Mar 30, 2023 at 9:56
  • “You could make an argument that it’s wrong.” You may be able to make that argument; I can’t make. There is not enough information given. Maybe his wife is the best server. Performance evaluations are not provided. It also depends on what “wrong” means. Apr 1, 2023 at 21:05
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    @BlairFonville And maybe the manager is effectively stealing from long-time employees and putting the money into his wive's pockets. Which one do you think is more likely?
    – gnasher729
    Apr 5, 2023 at 10:40
  • @gnasher729 I would certainly not jump to “effectively stealing” as “more likely”. Again there is no information to make the claim. You don’t think it’s likely that Covid upset the normal rotations, or that his wife is dedicated, or that the other employees just aren’t great? You’re going to jump to stealing? Apr 20, 2023 at 4:52

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