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Protecting Employees From Tip Stealing And Failure To Pay Wages

Tipped employees rely on their tips to make a living.

Individuals who receive tips as a part of their compensation — wait staff, bartenders, stylists, baristas, hosts and hostesses — may run into problems when their employers fail to obey state and federal employment laws that apply to tipped employees.

At Katz Melinger PLLC, we protect the rights of tipped employees in New York and New Jersey. We invite you to contact our office if you suspect that your employer has stolen tips or failed to pay wages.

Understanding Tipping Laws

In New York and New Jersey, employers must meet state and federal laws that apply to tipped employees and to tip pooling. Unfortunately, some employers abuse the law in order to protect their own financial interests.

Employers in New York and New Jersey may choose to take a tip credit. The tip credit allows the employer to pay the tipped employee less than minimum wage, as long as the employee makes at least minimum wage when tips are included. There are a number of different regulations that apply to tip credits in New York and New Jersey, and many employers knowingly or unknowingly violate those regulations.

Additionally, in New York, employers may enforce tip pooling among eligible employees. But the law limits which employees can participate in tip pooling. If an owner or manager is taking a portion of the tips, the tip pool is likely improper, and the eligible employees are owed money from the employer.

In New Jersey, employees can choose to pool their tips, but employers cannot force them to do so. If your New Jersey employer is improperly requiring you to pool tips, you may wish to speak to an employment law attorney.

Under federal law, tip pooling is permitted among restaurant workers. However, the employer must pay these employees minimum wage. Additionally, employers cannot keep employees’ tips nor can they participate in tip pools.

Individuals who have suffered due to an employer’s illegal practices regarding tipping or wage theft may be eligible for compensation. If you receive tips and believe that your employer is not paying you all of the compensation you are owed, talk to an attorney who can work to protect and defend your rights.

Questions About Tip Stealing? Contact Us Today.

If a current or former employer has stolen tips or otherwise broken employment laws, talk to an attorney about your legal options. Call our office at 212-460-0047 or complete our online contact form to learn how we can help.