I work in a Chinese restaurant as a host/server/cashier. I get paid a little over minimum wage but i am not allowed to KEEP any of my tips. I am the ONLY employee that works there (meaning that it's the owners who are husband and wife, and then me; no other employees).
The customers are constantly leaving "me" tips in which i have to put into the tip jar. After each shift, the money from the tip jar is placed into the cash register. No record is taken- none given to me.
I inform most customers who leave me a tip that i do not receive ANY of their gratitude and they are shocked and often say "well im not leaving a tip"
The same is done with the credit card receipts
Is this legal for my employers to do? Also, should'nt the customers be informed of where their money is going?
As long as you and the restaurant are subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (which may or may not be true given that the restaurant only has three workers), yes, this likely violates the law. You should contact an employment lawyer to discuss your rights.
As long as you are being paid the minimum wage I am not aware of any reason this would be illegal. When employers use the top credit and pay $2.13 pee hour, the employee must keep all of his tips. The employer cannot take any of it. But if the employer does not use the tip credit and pays you $7.25 an hour or more, I believe that is probably legal.
I agree with Mr. Harrington, since you are making the minimum wage and I presume the overtime wage if applicable, I don't see a violation of the FLSA. However, just because it is nor a violation doesn't mean you cannot discuss the matter with your employer and see if they will allow you to keep the tips or a potion thereof.
It is not unnecessarily unlawful for an employer to keep all of your tips (or a portion thereof) if you are being paid at least a minimum wage. Given that your representation that you "get paid a little over minimum wage," I don't see the employer's act of keeping your tips as actionable under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
This does not necessarily mean that you do not have another form of relief (i.e., breach of contract) against your employer. If, for instance, you have a signed writing from your employer indicating that you would be able to keep your tips, you may have a claim for unpaid tips. Of course, all of this hinges on a thorough analysis of the facts and applicable law.
I would suggest speaking to an attorney experienced in employment law for further guidance.
The information contained herein is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. No recipients of content from this site, clients or otherwise, should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in the site without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from an attorney licensed in the recipient's state. The content listed above contains general information and may not reflect current legal developments, verdicts or settlements.
Years licensed, work experience, education
Peer endorsements, associations, awards
Publications, speaking engagements