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Management alters tip schedule Hawaii

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  • Management alters tip schedule Hawaii

    My employer has in the past altered the rate at which we as waiters tip out the other staff that shares in the restaurant tip pool. These are usually a reflection of changing staff experience or the addition or deletion of positions. These changes have in the past been handled with a minimum of discussion and have for the most part appeared to be fair and equitable to all parties concerned. The management has historically paid the buspeople a $10 per shift bonus for their efforts,but has recently decided that they would no longer bear this burden and that the waitstaff would be required to pay it. My question is: How much input can restaurant management/ownership have in how tips are distributed in a restaurant and is it legal to have them arbirarily decide that a compensation paid by them for many years is now the waitstaff's burden? TIA

  • #2
    http://www.dol.gov/esa/regs/compliance/whd/whdfs15.htm

    It's not unlawful for your employer to implement "tip pooling".

    "Tip Pooling: The requirement that an employee must retain all tips does not preclude tip splitting or pooling arrangements among employees who customarily and regularly receive tips, such as waiters, waitresses, bellhops, counter personnel (who serve customers), busboys/girls and service bartenders. Tipped employees may not be required to share their tips with employees who have not customarily and regularly participated in tip pooling arrangements, such as dishwashers, cooks, chefs, and janitors. Only those tips that are in excess of tips used for the tip credit may be taken for a pool. Tipped employees cannot be required to contribute a greater percentage of their tips than is customary and reasonable."

    The DOL interpretation of tip pooling is quite liberal. The intention is that it does allow for tip pooling of tips that exceed the amount the tip credit for hours worked. The tip credit is the difference between minimum wage and your hourly rate.

    It's also not unlawful for the employer to discontinue the busboy $10 bonus program. Barring an enforceable employment contract or collective bargaining agreement, the employer may end a bonus program at its discretion.

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    • #3
      Tip pooling is allowed, as long as it is "reasonable and customary". Many restaurants employer specify a percentage of the directly-tipped employees' tip amounts, but a dollar amount would be allowable as well. Is it a percentage or a fixed amount per person per shift?
      I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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      • #4
        jinx, robb71
        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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        • #5
          I just saw that we posted at the same time. At least our answers are consistent.

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          • #6
            This $10 bonus per shift is a fixed amount and has for the past 10 years been paid in cash by the employer at the end of each busser's work week. It is not based on any percentage of the tip pool and is above and beyond the 15% tipped to the bus staff nightly. It was always considered part of the busser's wages and the waitstaff now feels as if we are being asked to pay the busser's wages for the employer. Can my employer arbitrarily change the way that tipped income is distributed and if so what would be considered fair and reasonable? TIA

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            • #7
              The short answer is *yes*. The same rules apply that have already been mentioned. Employers are free to change policies as they see fit (provided they do not violate any law). Changing the bus person $10 bonus does not violate law.

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              • #8
                So, I ask the same question. Is it $10 per Waiter/Waitress + 15% or is it (($10 * number of busboys) / number of Waiter/Waitresses) + 15%? And how much average is this per night when compared to the tips you receive from your customers?

                Sorry if this sounds like a 8th grade math word problem. I'm just trying to find out if the amount appears to be "reasonable".
                Last edited by Pattymd; 09-05-2006, 10:08 AM.
                I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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                • #9
                  The payout is $10 per busser per shift from the total tip pool of all waitstaff plus the 15% of the total tip pool that we have trditionally given them. If we have 6 waiters and 2 bussers,$20( $10 per busser) is taken from the pool . If we have 2 waiters and 1 busser $10 ( $10 per busser) is taken from the pool, Hope this makes it clearer, and thank you for your prompt reply. TIA
                  Last edited by Seniorwaiter; 09-05-2006, 10:40 AM.

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