How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dimitry K., Esq. Your Own Question

Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 38338
Experience:  I provide employment and discrimination law advice in my own practice.
18572087
Type Your Employment Law Question Here...
Dimitry K., Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My question is about tip pooling/sharing. I live in Seattle

Resolved Question:

My question is about tip pooling/sharing. I live in Seattle if that's at all relevant. Our owner constructed a tipping policy that included management as well as back of the house employees. At tge end of our shift we had to fill out a sheet with our sales and tip out each work group based on our shift sales. A few weeks ago a letter was sent to the owner questioning the legality of the practice based on field assistance bulletin 2012-2 and FSLA sheet number 15. His response was that we as a staff were to cone up with new tipping guidelines that were within the confines of WA state and federal law. Therefore we held a discussion and proceded with a ballot that included only front of house support staff positions. We thought all was well. Then at an employee meeting he announced, actually used the word pleading, asking us to still include the BOH as part of our tip policy because he couldn't afford to pay them proper market value wages. His argument is that our policy is a "tip share" and that as long as he gives us the option to opt out if it, he can still ask u's to institute it as part of our policy. So he still wants a formal written proposal that includes the BOH and then give us the option to opt out. However, he has stated that opting out would result in bad blood between the FOH and BOH, decrease revenue and tge eventual demise of the restaurant would be our fault.
In my opioninn, having tips collected in this nature is coercion by peer pressure:/ Can he ask us to take a vote on whether or not to tip the BOH simply by giving us the theoretical option to opt out if we disagree? Is it okay that he blatantly said he under pays the BOH and is asking us to subsidize thier wage?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you this evening.

This does appear to be coercion. Does he still pay his management a salary that is minimum wage or above?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes, the management isn't the problem, he has decided we were correct in not wanting to tip them out, the question is weather or not he can ask us to "share" our tips with the kitchen staff because "he cannot afford to pay them enough"
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your follow-up.

In a very blunt comment, that is ultimately his problem as owner, not yours. You do not have to share, and being coerced to share would permit you to file a grievance with your local department of labor. It is really that clear-cut. While he can 'ask' you all he wants, he cannot institute a policy and if he does, it would violate state law. Since he cannot demand that you take part in such a policy, he likewise cannot retaliate against you if you refuse to do so. Should he do so, that may again be a potential violation, and one that can be reported to the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission). He is the employer and he can terminate or discipline at any time without cause, but he cannot retaliate or demand behavior from you that violates the law. The moment he does, he crosses the line and you and your fellow employees could potentially have a cause of action. Then, regardless of he cannot afford to pay them enough, he may end up being unable to pay anyone enough due to the potential fines and lawsuits that he would expose himself to. I am not advocating or suggesting an argument with owner, not at all, just explaining what he can ask of you and what would cross the line.

Good luck.

Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 38338
Experience: I provide employment and discrimination law advice in my own practice.
Dimitry K., Esq. and 9 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I must thank you all for such a positive and knowledgeable Expert in your Employment Law category. She has provided much relief and answers for me in the midst of dealing with a case. I am totally pleased with her customer service and care. Mildred Washington, DC
< Last | Next >
  • I must thank you all for such a positive and knowledgeable Expert in your Employment Law category. She has provided much relief and answers for me in the midst of dealing with a case. I am totally pleased with her customer service and care. Mildred Washington, DC
  • Excellent direction from Socrateaser to help me preserve and pursue my rights as a proud American who has become unemployed in this messed-up economic downfall. Thank you Happy Customer Denver, CO
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    7759
    JD, BBA, recognized by ABA for excellence.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    7759
    JD, BBA, recognized by ABA for excellence.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/marshadjd/2009-6-1_194320_marshajd.jpg Marsha411JD's Avatar

    Marsha411JD

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    10539
    Licensed Attorney with 27 yrs. exp in Employment Law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/NY/nyclawyer/2012-6-7_22011_photo66139201112041.64x64.jpg Infolawyer's Avatar

    Infolawyer

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    9785
    Licensed attorney helping employers and employees.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/jaccorpsesq/2011-11-13_21141_JAnewphoto.64x64.jpg Allen M., Esq.'s Avatar

    Allen M., Esq.

    Employment Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    9429
    Employment/Labor Law Litigation
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MI/MILawyer/2011-2-28_0311_JBUprofile.64x64.jpg JB Umphrey's Avatar

    JB Umphrey

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    6273
    Assisting employees and employers for over 14 years.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TU/TUSA/2012-6-6_55219_test.64x64.png Thoreau (T-USA)'s Avatar

    Thoreau (T-USA)

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    2469
    Attorney
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    2214
    I provide employment and discrimination law advice in my own practice.