Servers and Bartenders: Is Your Employer Stealing Your Tips?

January 13, 2023 - Tip-pooling, Wage Theft

When you work at a restaurant, night club, or adult entertainment establishment, your employer probably has a tip-pool in place. In theory, tip-pooling can ensure that staff members are all paid for their participation in a customer’s overall experience. In some states, employers can pay a “tipped wage” of $2.13 per hour and use the tip-pool to make up the difference in the hourly wage between the “tipped wage” and the minimum wage.

Portland wage theft lawyers see employer tip theft on a routine basis. Tip pooling and tip sharing are generally not implemented or carried out in the correct way. Tip-pooling occurs when the total tips are divided among non-management staff members. Tip-pools can allows for tip-sharing among servers, bartenders, counter staff, and lower level kitchen staff.

MANAGERS CAN NEVER PARTICIPATE IN A TIP POOL. Ever. Employers and managers, unfortunately, ignore the prohibition on management participation in tip-pools, and makes a tip-pool illegal. When you are forced to pay into an illegal tip pool, you are entitled to have those contributions returned to you. In some instances, where an employer willfully ignores the tip pool regulations and allows mangers to participate, you may be entitled to double damages. Call or text 503-303-0600 if you have been the victim of wage theft.

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