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Are employers required to share tips?

Recently, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals determined that employers are not required to share tips with employees as long as those employees are paid at least minimum wage. In that case, a woman worked as a caterer, earning $12/hour straight time and $18/hour overtime. At the end of her shift, she received tips from her customers. Her employer in turn demanded that these tips by turned over. The employee sued, asserting that the FLSA provides that employees may retain earned tips. The 10th Circuit disagreed, stating that the FLSA only applies to situations where the tip is required to meet the minimum wage threshold, after which an employer is not restricted concerning its use of tips.

This decision is at odds with other appellate court decisions which provide that tips are the property of employees. Because of the conflict, it is likely that the Supreme Court will review this case.

For many restaurant workers, tips make up a large part of a worker’s income. Whether he or she is able to retain the tips earned may have a significant impact on their take home pay. For more information about tip sharing, or if you believe that you have been denied all of the compensation you deserve, please contact the dedicated Georgia wage and hour lawyers at Buckley Beal, LLP for an immediate consultation.

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