What are the wage laws for tipped employees?

On Behalf of | Oct 30, 2018 | Firm News, wage and hour |

The wage paid to tipped employees is a commonly discussed topic that can get heated. However, the laws in California are much different from those in other states. While many states and the federal government do not require employers to pay tipped employees at least the minimum wage, in California, the law does, according to the Department of Industrial Relations.

So, if you work as a waiter, for example, and you receive tips regularly from your customers, your employer must pay you at least minimum wage. In addition, the law also protects your tips. Your employer cannot take any tips given to you. Your employer, the business nor your supervisors may take your tips. Your employer can require you to pool your tips and split them among the staff that was directly involved with serving the customer. This might include bus persons, cooks and dishwashers.

Your employer also cannot use your tip earnings as part of your wages. Whatever you earn in tips is in addition to the wage your employer pays. Your employer also cannot charge you any fees for tips given through credit cards. Some employers may try to charge you the credit card fee, but this is illegal.

Finally, it is important to note that gratuity included on a bill is not considered a tip, so it does not have to be treated as such. Your employer may even keep such a gratuity and not give any to you. This information is for education and is not legal advice.