I am a waitress and i make minimum wage ($11). The tips i make go back into the business.
That's interesting. Never had that question before. As an individual wage earner and taxpayer, you are supposed to claim your tips separately on your Form 1040 when you file your annual Federal Taxes. So if I understand you correctly, you are paid a wage of $11/hour, but ALL your tips must go back to the employer? And are they divvied out or kept by the employer? Put simply, the employer taking your tips is not right, unless there is some statute in WA with ich I am not familiar that allows such an exception. I recommend you seek assistance from a labor and employment lawyer, I would not consider this a civil rights claim so much as a labor and employment claim. If you are a member of a union I would suggest you seek advice from your union rep. Good luck.
contact the Washington State Labor and Industries
This answer is predicated on the facts provided in which the lawyer cannot confirm or verify. I do not represent you as we do not have an attorney-client relationship until a fee agreement is signed by you and me. I am licensed in Washington State and California. Beverly Grant Law Firm, P.S.
The Court recently addressed this issue and stated that even employees who receive federal minimum wage, tips are considered to be the property of the employee and employers are not allowed to take or use them for their own purposes (unless they are pooled into a "tip pool" and redistributed fully to the employees).
I would recommend speaking with an employment attorney as this action by your employer sounds like it may be unlawful withholding.
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