Empowering Servers and Bartenders: Unmasking Tip Credit Violations (Part 1)
Empowering Servers and Bartenders with Knowledge of the Tip Credit
Welcome to the first installment of our four-part series focused on empowering servers and bartenders by exploring and unmasking the intricacies of tip credit violations. Navigating the complexities of wage laws can be challenging, particularly in the fast-paced world of the service industry. As a server or bartender, you understand that tips substantially contribute to your earnings. But, are you aware that if your employer doesn’t pay the full minimum wage, they may be infringing upon the law?
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) grants employers the privilege to utilize a tip credit. Essentially, this means your employer can pay you less than the minimum wage, provided your tips cover the difference. Nevertheless, employers must adhere to stringent rules when using the tip credit. If your employer does not lawfully comply with all the legal requirements of the tip credit, you might be entitled to back pay and additional damages.
Spotting Tip Credit Violations: What You Need to Know
This series’ introductory blog post provides an overview of four critical areas related to tip credit violations:
1. Mandatory Tip Credit Notice:
Your employer must provide a written notice regarding the tip credit before you start working. The tip credit notice must generally include information notice of the tip credit amount, the definition of a tipped employee, and the types of work considered as tipped work.
2. Unfair Deductions:
Your employer cannot demand servers to bear the cost of uniforms, unpaid customer bills, tools, credit card processing fees, and other business expenses. Such costs are deemed as business expenditures and should be covered by the employer. It is unlawful for a server to pay for these expenses regardless of whether you pay out of pocket or theses expenses are deducted from your paycheck, it is illegal.
3. Limitations on Side Work and Prohibition on Non-Tipped Work
Your employer cannot claim a tip credit for any duration spent performing side work or non-tipped work, such as cleaning, stocking, or handling phone orders.
4. Unlawful Tip Pooling or Tip Sharing:
Your employer cannot compel servers to share tips or contribute tips to a tip pool that is shared with anyone other than co-workers directly involved in customer service. Any employee who does not directly serve customers cannot lawfully receive any tips from the tip share or tip pool.
Each of these crucial issues will be analyzed in more detail in the following parts of our series. If you suspect your employer is violating these laws, consulting with an experienced wage and hour attorney is critical. A competent attorney can clarify your rights and assist in filing a lawsuit if needed.
Stand Up for Your Rights – Call the Employee Rights Attorneys
If you are a server or bartender who suspects your tip credit rights are being violated, reach out to the Employee Rights attorneys at Herrmann Law today. We are dedicated to helping you understand your rights and advocating for the compensation you rightfully deserve. Call us at (817) 479-9229 or submit your information to us online.
At Herrmann Law, we are more than just a law firm for employees – we are staunch advocates for employee rights, providing robust legal representation needed to achieve the best possible outcome.