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Can you be forced into a mandatory tip pool?

On Behalf of | Aug 2, 2021 | Wage & Hour Laws |

You started working in a tipped profession — like waiting tables — because you wanted to keep the tips for yourself. You know you’re good at your job and you see it as a way to make more money per hour than you would in most other professions. 

However, your employer decides to set up a mandatory tip pool. Instead of having each member of the staff keep their own tips, the staff will pool all of the tips and then split that total evenly. Is this allowed and do you have to participate?

Who is in the tip pool is very important

First off, yes, tip pools are legal. Your employer can set one up and have the staff participate. Not all employees are fans of this system, especially when they think they’d make more keeping their own tips, but that doesn’t mean it’s illegal. 

The biggest problem is just when the wrong people are included in the pool. Managers are not allowed in tip pools; nor are supervisors or employers. 

Essentially, the goal of the tip pool should just be to split the tips among those workers who would normally have gotten tips anyway. If the employer adds himself or herself into the pool, that’s a violation of the workers’ rights, as it merely takes the money they earned and gives it to the business. 

Are you in an illegal tip pool?

Do you think that the tip pool your employer is running has been set up illegally or is not being run in accordance with state laws? You need to know all of the legal options you have to make things right.