Tips Sharing In Restaurants: Is It Legal?
Last Updated on January 11, 2022
At A Glance
- This Alert Affects:
- Workers in the restaurant service industry who were forced to share tips with managers, janitors, dishwashers, cooks, bouncers or other non-tipped employees.
- Restaurant service workers who were subjected to an illegal tip pooling scheme may be able to seek recovery of the money that was wrongfully taken from them.
- All restaurants, bars and similar establishments employing tipped service employees.
- Additional Details:
- According to federal law, employees who do not regularly receive tips cannot participate in a tip pool.
Waiters, bartenders and other workers in the restaurant service industry who were subjected to an illegal tip pooling scheme may be entitled to compensation.
Several restaurants have recently been hit with tip pooling cases alleging that members of the wait staff were required to share tips with managers, bouncers and other employees who do not regularly receive tips.
Because it is illegal to distribute pooled tips to non-tipped employees, restaurant and bar service workers who lost money through an illegal tip pooling scheme may have legal recourse to recover the money that was taken from them.
Were you forced to share tips with non-tipped employees? Find out if you can make a claim for your lost tips by completing the form on this page.
Illegal Tip Sharing: Who Can Participate?
According to federal tip pooling laws, tips are permitted to be collected and shared – but only among workers who provide a direct service to the customer.
Examples of employees who are permitted to share in tip pools include the following:
- Waiters and waitresses
Signs of Illegal Tip Pooling
In cases of illegal tip pooling, an employer will share tips with employees who do not provide direct service to the patron, and thereby, deny the workers listed above of their hard-earned wages, and in some cases, the minimum wage.
If you are a waiter, bartender or other service employee and are forced to share tips with any of the following employees, you may be subjected to an illegal tip sharing scheme:
- Chefs and cooks
- Managers, supervisors and employers
- Laundry room attendants
Forced to participate in an illegal tip pool? Learn more about your legal rights by filling out the form on this page.
Tip Pooling Laws
If you were required to share tips with non-tipped employees, it’s important to be aware of your legal rights. As a general rule of thumb, tip pooling regulations suggest that an employee’s eligibility to participate in a tip pool is based on their level of interaction with customers. If an employee regularly interacts with customers, they are permitted to participate in a tip pool. Those who do not regularly interact with patrons, such as kitchen helpers and salad mixers, are not allowed to participate in a tip pool.
If you have been required to share tips under an illegal tip pooling policy, fill out the form on this page. You may be able to file a claim against your employer to recover the money which was taken from you. Under tip pooling laws, it is illegal for an employer to fire or otherwise retaliate against those who bring light to illegal activity in the workplace, so do not hesitate to take advantage of this free consultation today.
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