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I have a question about what tips I am legally required to…

Customer Question
I have a question...

I have a question about what tips I am legally required to give banquet/catering servers that make $20/hr wages.

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you documented this or discussed it with HR?

No. I am an employer not an employee.

Lawyer's Assistant: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?

Part time

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Employment Law
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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
We have a farm dinner business where we host ~80 people for dinner every Friday and Saturday. Our front-of-the-house is staffed with part-time workers who vary every weekend. The FOH makes $20/hr wages. If tips are left by customers in addition to the dinner/bar price or in addition to a private party invoice total, are we as employers legally required to tip our employees who are already making $20/hr?
Answered in 18 minutes by:
11/26/2017
Employment Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 7 months ago
Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 125,893
Experience: 20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
Verified

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

Tips are left for employees, regardless of what the employer is paying the employee. The tips are left by customers complimenting the service they received from the employees. The employer should actually account for the tips each employee gets by making the employee claim them to the employer and the employer puts tip amounts on the employee's tax form. If it bothers you that you are paying employees $20 per hour and that they are doing a good enough job to get tips, you can do one of three things. First, you can post signs stating no tipping allowed and have a rule that any employee taking a tip will be fired. Second, you can reduce their wages from $20 a hour paid by you to deduct for tips received so that they still get $20 an hour, but it is combined wages from you plus tips. Third, you can just let them keep the tips and mandate they report all tips to you each event.

However, to not give employee's tips left for employees by customers who are expecting the employee to receive them could be deemed theft and it can also be an unethical business practice that could get the employer sued.

Please do not forget to leave positive feedback by clicking on the 5 stars at the top of your page, as the experts are not employees of the site and get no credit for spending time with customers unless they leave positive feedback. Thank you.

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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