Tip Violations

Are You Not Receiving All Your Tips?

Tips function as a form of wage, and employees in the service industry (and other industries) are often heavily dependent on tips for their income. Usually given voluntarily by the customer, tips are critically important to employees who need to earn a living wage. When restaurants, hotels and other service industries use tipping to benefit themselves, employees suffer because of lost income.

Massachusetts laws recognize this and have robust protections for employees’ tips. Employers are forbidden from keeping any share of tips, service charges or automatic gratuities for themselves. Massachusetts law also limits the circumstances in which an employer can force a worker to share tips with others.

In fact, Massachusetts law only permits tips to be shared with non-managerial employees who actually serve food or beverages or bus tables. Your employer can’t require you to share tips with managers or supervisors, chefs, etc. Unfortunately, despite these well-known and often-enforced rules, many employers in service industries still require tipped employees to share tips with such individuals.

Unfair Treatment Of Tipped Employees

You may have experienced one or more of these common tipping abuses by your employer:

  • Owners or managers working as bartenders and claiming tips from the tip pool
  • Seizing a percentage of employees’ tips for themselves or other non service employees, invalidating the tip pool
  • Refusing to make up the difference when tips plus wages fall short of the minimum wage

When employers alter the distribution of tip income, workers dependent on tips for their livelihood see their wages shrink. For employees who have been harmed because of these practices, relief is available.

If your employer isn’t paying you all the tips you’re entitled to receive, contact Regan Strom today for a free, confidential consultation. Our seasoned attorneys are experts in all types of employment litigation. Whether we bring your case to court or reach a settlement on your behalf, we provide exceptional representation and a successful resolution.

Is your employer withholding your tips?