Forester Haynie

Sonic Drive-In Carhops

Forester Haynie is dedicated to recovering wages for carhops who are being improperly paid.

If you or someone you know has a potential carhop case Forester Haynie can help with, contact us today.


Drive-in restaurants have been around since the 1920s, pre-dating drive-throughs. The first drive-in, Kirby’s Pig Stand, opened in 1921 in Dallas, Texas. Since then, many drive-ins have opened their doors, most notably an Oklahoma-based chain by the name of Sonic Drive-In, which has 3,550 locations to date. A unique feature of drive-ins is the use of carhops, people who hand-deliver food from the restaurant to customers in vehicles. Carhops are an essential part of drive-in operations, unfortunately, they are also very likely to be victims of wage theft. Carhops receive the majority of their wages in tips, which we can all agree is a flawed method of compensation, as this makes it significantly easier for employers to pay their employees below the minimum wage.

Minimum Wage Violations

Forester Haynie takes minimum wage and FLSA violations very seriously. There are limited circumstances in which companies are allowed to legally pay below the federal minimum wage. One such circumstance is if an employer claims a tip credit.

A tip credit is a legal way for employers to count an employee’s tips toward their minimum wage obligations. Employers must provide written or verbal notice that they are claiming a tip credit. So, what exactly does that mean? The federal minimum wage is $7.25, this means you cannot, by any means, be paid less than that amount per hour of work you do. If your employer claims a tip credit, then your minimum cash wage cannot be less than $2.13 and the maximum tip credit it capped at $5.12. If your cash wages and tips are not equal to the minimum wage, it is the employer’s responsibility to make up the difference. In states where the minimum wage is higher, the state minimum wage applies.

Employers often fail to make up the difference, however, leaving their employees with wages that fall far below the minimum wage.


Case settlements often take time, so you will have to be patient with us while we fight for you. Forester Haynie does not charge our clients any up front fees or case costs. Unlike many firms, we only get paid when you do.

We are gathering more cases and settling more suits each day. You and your coworkers may have a minimum wage and overtime case. Fill out the form below for more information!

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