Wage theft, working-off-the-clock and abusing the tip credit and other violations are alleged in a series of lawsuits filed against the restaurant company, TGI Friday's.  The suit alleges that tipped workers such as waiters and servers are required to work off the clock before they start officially their shift.  The lawsuit was filed in New York federal court on April 17.

Source: USA Today

The tip credit does not apply if the employee devotes more than 20% of his or her work time doing non-tipped work such as restaurant set-up work. There was a prior FAQ on the topic: The Tip Credit For Waiters & Bartenders: Does It Always Apply?

The tip credit is widely abused and that abuse and misuse has given rise to a number of suits:  Illegal Tip Sharing Alleged by Red Robin ServersTip Credit Wages Suit Against Applebee'sWages Suit Against Darden Restaurants Grows and others.

Lexington, Kentucky overtime lawyer Robert Abell represents individuals and employees recover the wages and overtime they've earned but not been paid; contact him at 859-254-7076. 

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