Two waiters at a Hard Rock Café in Florida have just filed a
tip pooling lawsuit against the company, claiming Hard Rock didn’t pay them
minimum wage. They are seeking class-action status for the case based on the number
of potential servers affected. The waiters and waitresses assert that
the “tip pooling” policy at the restaurant required servers
and bartenders to share their tips with kitchen staff, denying them
Tipping practices are often confusing and may form the basis of a federal
or state lawsuit.
Some common questions about tips include:
Who is a tipped employee?
“Tipped employees” are generally considered those who take
home $30 or more in tips each month.
How much does my employer have to pay me in addition my tips?
Employers can pay as low as $2.13 an hour in “direct wages,”
but the total wage including tip must meet the minimum wage. If the total
amount you make doesn’t equal minimum wage, then your employer has
to make up the difference.
Who owns my tips?
You do. Workers must be allowed to take home all of their tips –
you can’t be required to share your wages except as a part of a
valid “pooling” arrangement.
What is tip pooling?
Tip pooling is the practice of having all tipped employees chip in a portion
of their tips, which are then redistributed to everyone in the pool. Only
those employees who typically receive tips can be part of the pool. Violations
of federal law may occur if an employer forces tipped workers to share
their earnings with other non-tipped workers.
If you receive most of your wages in tips, it’s important to know
your legal rights concerning tip practices. For more information or if
you believe your employer has been paying you less than minimum wage or
violating any rules regarding tips, please contact the experienced
Atlanta employment lawyers at theGeorgia employment law firm, of The Buckley Law Firm, LLC, dedicated to protecting worker’s rights.