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Coffee shop withholding barista tips to pay for break-in loss. Washington

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  • Coffee shop withholding barista tips to pay for break-in loss. Washington

    My employer has alleged a certain amount of a daily deposit was stolen, and has withheld the staffs pooled tips (of which my salaried manager takes a cut) for several days to pay for the loss with no promise of being paid back. Is this legal? Is it different for a coffee shop than a restaurant or bar? Am I allowed to ask questions about how much was stolen and for proof that the amount of tips withheld did not exceed the amount stolen? Don't companies usually have some kind of insurance to cover this kind of incident?

    I've already been told that I need to just keep my nose clean and not ask questions, but I'm honestly really upset about it and think the way the company went about it was shady and I still don't really understand what happened - just that I'm out quite a chunk of change.

  • #2
    I can cite the related federal rules on tips.

    3) Allow the tipped employee to retain all tips, whether or not the employer elects to take a tip credit for tips received, except to the extent the employee participates in a valid tip pooling arrangement.
    Retention of Tips: The law forbids any arrangement between the employer and the tipped employee whereby any part of the tip received becomes the property of the employer. A tip is the sole property of the tipped employee. Where an employer does not strictly observe the tip credit provisions of the Act, no tip credit may be claimed and the employees are entitled to receive the full cash minimum wage, in addition to retaining tips they may\should have received.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)