New York Times Op-Ed: Adding Fairness to Tips

New York Times Opinion Pages featured an article by Tim and Nina Zagat, Adding Fairness to Tips.  The controversy stirring up the New York restaurant scene is that restaurants are routinely cheating their workers by confiscating waiters’ and busboys’ tips to share with managers and other ineligible employees.  This is unlawful as restaurants are permitted to pay their waiters less than the full minimum wage under the state’s “tip credit,” because the state assumes that waiters get $2.60 an hour in tips.  In the event a restaurant’s tip credit is yanked, the restaurant must repay $2.60 for every hour worked by every tipped employee for up to three years – a penalty that could put a struggling restaurant under.  Read More.

New York State Department of Labor in reviewed regulations governing these issues in 2009. In October, 2010, a proposed new hospitality wage order was published for comment, and is expected to take effect in 2010.  Regarding tips, the proposed regulations replace departmental policies and case law with new regulations to provide clarity and uniformity throughout the hospitality industry.  The rule provides definitions of the terms “tip pooling” and “tip sharing,” as well as the circumstances under which each is permissible, the degree to which the employer may require tip pooling and sharing, and the records the employer is required to keep when operating tip pooling or tip sharing.  It is important that workers in the restaurant industry understand their rights with regard to tips.  If you believe your employer is withholding tips that are rightfully yours, you should immediately contact an experienced employment law attorney.

Leeds Morelli & Brown, PC is a nationally recognized firm in the area of employment law.  Our firm has had considerable success in matters of employment discrimination throughout Long Island and the New York City area.  For more information, contact Leeds, Morelli and Brown, PC at 1-800-585-4658 for a free consultation.