I have been working at this new job in a small mom and pop restaurant where the owner counts my tips and has been skimming money. Some days it’s pennies some days it’s dollars. I have called her out on this and she states that it is not true. I have also noticed I have had to fight her to take home my tips on a daily basis. In lieu of leaving them there she counts my money and then writes it down in the back of our lined notebook where we leave our vacation request. Today I got my first paystub and paycheck. She said she could not print my paycheck but gave me a digital copy of it. There is just a regular wage (my 3.75 an hour) but no sign of my tipped wages and I am not paying federal taxes. How do I avoid getting slammed later in taxes at the end of the year and how do I prove my tips ? Can she legally hold my tips everyday ? Also- how do I pay my federal taxes if it’s not being taken from my paystub ?
I am sorry you are faced with this. You should contact an employment attorney who handles wage and hour claims. Many attorneys offer an initial unpaid consultation.
LEGAL DISCLAIMER: I am licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and practice with the firm Law Office of Maura Greene, LLC in Boston, Massachusetts. My practice is focused in the areas of employment law, discrimination, wage and hour claims, severance agreements, related employment matters. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state.
What you describe is illegal. The owner (and manager) should never be involved in cash tips. They have no ownership interest in them whatsoever and they are legally prohibited from sharing in a tip pool.
Call an employment attorney.
Do you want accurate, personalized, legal advice that you can rely on? You will have to hire an attorney, not ask on Avvo Answers. I am not your attorney and am not creating an attorney-client relationship by this post. I am giving only general advice. Any advice may not apply to you or your situation; may not take account of all possibilities, and may not match the advice I would give to a client after a detailed interview. DO NOT rely on this advice or any other advice on Avvo to make your legal decisions.
Regarding the tips, in Massachusetts it is illegal for tips to be taken by the employer or manager. You could follow up with an employment lawyer and/or also file a complaint with the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office who also enforces the Massachusetts Tips Law. Re the tax issue, you could contact either the IRS (for the federal) or the Mass Department of Revenue to ask them how exactly you should go about insisting that she represent your full wages (including tips) on your paystub -- she's supposed to -- and then withhold the taxes on those wages. (I seem to recall there is a supplementary form that you can provide her weekly reporting this.) In the meantime, consider taking regular notes or keep a log about everything dicey you see and experience there; it is the best way of protecting yourself.
Any information provided here is for information purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice or intended to create an attorney client relationship.
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline