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  • tip pool Iowa

    Can I be forced to sign a voluntary tip pool agreement that includes tipping expoditers who have no guest contact. Prior to April 1 we were required to tip out 3% of our sales to the bartenders and hosts. There was however a $15 max on our our tip out. We signed no tip share agreement so just assumed it was mandatory. As of April 1 we were told that the wage of the expos would be cut cut by $2.00 an hour and they would become tipped employees. They work strictly in the kitchen. Also they lifted the $15 cap.
    The agreement they want me sign says I voluntarily agree to contribute 3% of my sales to the tip pool which includes: hosts, bartenders, bussers, service assistants, and expos.

  • #2
    Look at this fact sheet;

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

    However I do not think cooks are considered tipped employees... see the next to last paragraph...

    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
    ========================================

    "A veteran - whether active duty, retired, national guard, or reserve - is someone who, at one point in his or her life, wrote a blank check made payable to The 'United States of America', for an amount of 'up to and including my life.'" (Author unknown)

    Comment


    • #3
      Expoditers?
      I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

      Comment


      • #4
        tip pools in iowa

        Expeditors work in the kitchen. They take the food from the cooks and get it ready for the servers to take to the tables. They are not allowed to run food or leave the kitchen.
        It doesn't really matter tho because the CEO of (the restaurant chain) told the department of labor that expos run food. It doesn't matter that this is not true. According to the department of labor in Iowa they can take all of our tips as long as we sign a voluntary agreement. Also doesn't matter that we being forced to sign the agreement or lose our jobs. We have to prove they are telling us that. So to make a long story short anything they do is legal because the employees can be forced to do what ever they demand and I am told that we have no other way to prove otherwise. In Iowa the FLSA is not worth the paper it is written on. Also I can be fired for making inquiries to the dol because I can't prove that that is why they are firing me.

        Comment


        • #5
          They CANNOT take all of your tips, according to federal law. 100% is NOT reasonable and customary. Either it was not explained properly to the state DOL person, or she didn't have a clue what the federal regulations are. Contact the federal DOL.

          Oh, and BTW, courts see right through the "of course, she was not fired because she filed a wage claim". Especially if you have had no disciplinary action the employer can document.

          OTOH, do you really want to work for an employer like this? Good servers are hard to find. I'd be searching for another job. When you get it, you can resign and pursue your case at that point.
          I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

          Comment


          • #6
            Actually as long as you "voluntarily" agree they can do or take anything.
            I did email the Federal department of labor. They just forwarded my email to Iowa. As far as quitting, I guess now it has become a matter of principal. I have worked there for almost 7 years and have a huge number of regulars.
            One of my co-workers was told last night that if she didn't sign the voluntary form she would be fired for insubordination. He also told her he was f'ing tired of people complaining about it. I asked the guy from the Iowa dol if on January 1 they handed me form that said I voluntarily agree to contribute 90% of my tips to a tip pool including cooks if that would legal. He said yes as long as it's voluntary. And since we can't prove he forced us we would have no option. I know I'm too stubborn and probably should just quit but I also feel that there has to be someone, somewhere that can say this is wrong.

            Comment


            • #7
              I'd quit, too. When the guidelines published by the federal DOL state that (except for "reasonable and customary" tip pooling--which 90% of your tips is NOT) tips are yours and yours alone, being coerced into signing a "voluntary" agreement is caving. The fact that employees are threatened with their job if they don't sign is proof of coercion which, if nothing else, is a violation of public policy.

              Honestly, this is one hill I'd be ready to die on. I doubt it's legal. I DO agree that it's "wrong". Eventually, this guy will end up with NO servers and he'll be out of business.
              Last edited by Pattymd; 04-10-2007, 10:55 AM.
              I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

              Comment


              • #8
                Another case of employees being hurt by the DOL's misconstruing of section 3(m)?

                While section 203(m) explains that nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit the pooling of "TIPS" among employees who customarily and regularly receive tips, "TIPS" are clearly defined under CFR 531.52.

                CFR 531.52 explains that "only tips received as money belonging to an employee which he may use as he chooses free of any control of the employer may be counted when applying the provisions of section 203(m)".

                What's so hard to understand here?

                When an employee is threatened into using his tips for a pool controlled and operated by his employer, as is the case here, clearly the moneys cannot be considered tips.

                Subsequently the pool cannot be considered, or refered to as, a "TIP" pool and the pooling of "TIPS", as defined under federal regulations, is subsequently prohibited. If an employee is prohibited from using his tips "as he chooses, free of any control of the employer", then the pooling of tips among employees who customarily and regularly receives tips is also prohibited. Why is this so hard to understand?

                When the DOL formulated the opinion that federal laws do not prohibit an employer from requiring tip pooling, what they did was they miscontrued federal laws to where an employee who customarily and regularly receives tips cannot use his tips as he chooses.

                Just look at what's happening here. The employee is unable to use his tips as he chooses free of any control of the employer. According to federal regulations, the moneys he and the others are receiving from his employer's, so called "voluntary tip pool", cannot be counted as "TIPS".

                How can it be so blatantly overlooked and ignored that this employer is unlawfully misconstruing federal laws to where the pooling of "TIPS" among employees who customarily and regularly receive tips is prohibited?

                What the law is stating is that nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit the pooling of "money belonging to an employee which he may use as he chooses free of any control of the employer".

                Federal regulations explain that when applying the provisions of section 203(m), the word "TIP" is to be applied to the statute as "money belonging to an employee which he may use as he chooses free of any control of the employer".

                Therefore, it is consistent with federal law to replace the word "TIP" with the words federal regulations have used to define the word "TIP". Isn't it?

                The fact that this employer is blatanly controlling how his employee's tips will be used is proof that this employer is unlawfully misconstruing federal laws in a manner that prohibits the pooling of "TIPS".

                What I want to know is why the U.S. Department of Labor is refusing to enforce the laws they have been entrusted to enforce?

                According to the US Department of Labor, when federal and state labor laws conflict, the law that most benefits the employee is the law that should be applied to the circumstances. That means that whenever both federal law and state law address the same issue, whichever law provides you, the employee, the most protection is the one that will be applied to your situation.

                Article VI- If a federal and a state law conflict, the federal government is supreme because of Article VI.

                The Supremacy Clause invalidates all state laws that conflict or interfere with an act of Congress.

                Why is the U.S. Department of Labor ignoring their own guidelines?

                Why is the Department of Labor ignoring Article VI?

                Why is the U.S. Department of Labor allowing state laws to interfere with an act of Congress?

                Is the U.S. Department of Labor intentionally aiding business owners in stealing the tips customers present their workers?

                Can't you labor law experts see what's going on? Why aren't you helping to expose this injustice?

                You know as well as I do that something is wrong here. Everything federal regulations say about tips and tip pools is being either ignored or twisted completly around.

                While federal laws state that nothing is to prohibit the pooling of tips, "money belonging to employee" the Department of Labor is making sure nothing is construed to prohibit the pooling of money belonging to the employer. While federal regulations clearly distinguish "TIPS", that which belongs to the employee, from "service charges" that which belongs to the employer, and while federal laws protect the pooling of "TIPS" not the pooling of "service charges", the DOL is twisting federal labor laws to the point where they protect employers rather than the employees whom customers have given their tips to.

                CFR 531.55 explains amount not received as tips. It explains clearly that even when the moneys collected by the employer are distributed to the employees, the money cannot be considered tips. They are instead, the employer's property.

                The "pooling" that federal laws cannot be construed to prohibit is clearly explained as the pooling of "TIPS". Therefore an employer who requires that all tips be turned over to him where, according to CFR 531.55, the tips will become amounts not received as tips, is unlawfully miscontruing section 203(m) to where the pooling of "TIPS" is subsequenty prohibited.

                You can't construe section 203(m) two totally different ways. The statute is either protecting the pooling of money belonging to the employee, as tips are defined, or the statute is protecting the pooling of money belonging to the employer, which it absolutely not. Federal laws are protecting the pooling of money belonging to an employee. not the pooling of money belonging to the employer. The word "TIP" and the regulations which explicitely define tips as the money belonging to an employee prove my point.

                How can tips be pooled among employees who customarily and regularly receive tips when employers are miscontruing federal laws as not prohibiting employers from requiring that tips be turned over to the control of the employer where tips will cease to be legally considered tips?

                The pooling of tips is unlawfully prohibited when section 203(m) is misconstrued as not prohibiting employers from arbitrarily changing tips into property of the employer and that which cannot be considered tips.

                The only way to insure that section 203(m) is not construed to where the pooling of "TIPS" is prohibited, is to construe section 203(m) as prohibiting employers from requiring that tips be turned over to the employer, which is the case when employers require tip pooling.

                The Ninth Circuit has recently ruled that a tip pool, such as in the case of Woody Woo's tip pool, was infact an arrangement that made tips the employer's property. This is a documented fact.

                It shouldn't take a ruling by the Ninth Circuit for anyone with a an education to understand that an employer who requires how his employee's tips are going to be used is making tips his property.

                The pooling of tips, as refered to in section 203(m), is prohibited when employers unlawfully misconstrue section 203(m) as a law that does not prohibit them from making tips their property and that which cannot be counted as tips.

                Section 203(m) prohibits employers from using their employee's tips for an employer required and thus controlled pool by stating that nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the pooling of "money belonging to the employee which he may use as he chooses free of any control of the employer".

                This is the truth and it will not go away.

                We tipped workers have been blatantly lied to with the intent of aiding business owners in stealing the customer's tip for themselves.

                May God have mercy on their corrupt souls. Stealing the public's goodwill is about as low as you can go. Isn't it?

                Comment


                • #9
                  G money -did you note this was an old thread from 2007?
                  Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                  Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Betty3 View Post
                    G money -did you note this was an old thread from 2007?
                    Of course he did. He's a one-trick pony.
                    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm sure he did - I was trying to be polite. He's the "tip person."
                      Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                      Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        He's a one-trick pony who just came off a suspension and is going back on it if he keeps violating the rules.
                        The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I was just hoping for someone somewhere to say this is wrong.

                          Sorry for chiming in so late on this thread, however, there are workers all across this nation who are desperately waiting for someone somewhere, sometime, to say this is wrong.

                          Thank you for not kicking me off the board. I know I must come across as a spammer posting the same thing over and over again, however, my intent is only to address an issue that has been ignored for over 40 years.

                          I was hoping to get some feedback on my analysis of section 203(m), however, for over 10 years, no one seems to want to discuss this law.

                          The law states that nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit the pooling of "TIPS" among employees who customarily and regularly receive "TIPS"

                          The law does not say, except that employer required tip pools are restricted to employees who customarily and regularly receive tips. Does it?

                          The law does not state, except that nothing in this section shall be construed to
                          prohibit the Department of Labor from determining who employers can include in their employer required tip pool. Does it?

                          In fact, the words, EMPLOYER, REQUIRED and RESTRICTED do not even appear in this statute. Do they?

                          Why would the DOL issue opinions which suggest that section 203(m) restricts employer required tip pools to employees who customarily and regularly receive tips when the law doesn't even use the words, RESTRICTS, EMPLOYER or REQUIRED?

                          The word "TIP" is used twice in this statute, isn't it?

                          Shouldn't we both look at, and rely on, the way federal regulations define "TIPS" and "TIP POOLING" in order to understand what the requirements of section 203(m) actually are?

                          CFR 531.52 states, Only tips actually received by an employee as money belonging to him which he may use as he chooses free of any control by the employer, may be counted in determining whether he is a "tipped employee" within the meaning of the Act and in applying the provisions of section 3(m) which govern wage credits for tips.

                          Doesn't CFR 531.52 clearly explain how the word "TIP" is to be interpretted when applying the provisions of section 203(m)?

                          Doesn't CFR 531.54 explain that tip pooling is where the waiters give a portion of their tips to the busboy?

                          Doesn't CFR 531.54, in conjunction with CFR 531.52, clarify that "TIP" poolling is where the waiters choose to give a portion of their tips to the busboy and where such giving is not controlled in any way by the employer?

                          Doesn't CFR 531.52 clearly explain that an employee who is receiving tips which are controlled by his employer cannot be considered, a "tipped employee"?

                          Dosen't CFR 531.52 clearly explain that money an employer is controlling cannot be counted as "TIPS" when applying the provisions of section 203(m)?

                          Then how can section 203(m) be suggesting that employer required, or controlled, tip pools are restricted to employees who customarily and regularly receive tips?

                          How can employer required tip pools be restricted to employees who customarily and regularly receive tips when federal laws in conjunction with federal regulations clearly explain that employees receiving moneys from an employer required, and thus controlled, pool cannot be counted as employees who customarily and regularly receive TIPS?

                          REQUIRE
                          command
                          make someone do something
                          Synonyms: need, command, expect, take, involve, ask, overlook, dominate, call for, postulate, overtop, control, necessitate, want, demand

                          It's common knowledge that the word "CONTROL" is a synonym of the word "REQUIRE", Isn't it.

                          An employer who requires that tips be pooled is controling the tips, isn't he?

                          Doesn't CFR 531.52 substatiate that a pool that is required, and thus controlled, by an employer cannot be counted as a "TIP" pool when applying the provisions of section 203(m)?

                          Doesn't CFR 531.52, in conjunction with section 203(t), substantiate that the employees receiving moneys from an employer required, and thus controlled, tip pool, cannot be counted as employees who customarily and regularly receive tips?

                          Section 203(t) defines "tipped employees" as any employee engaged in an occupation
                          in which he customarily and regularly receives more than $30 a month in tips.

                          Isn't it reasonable and accurate to interpret section 203(t) as a law that defines a tipped employee as an employee who customarily and regularly receives tips?

                          Isn't it also reasonable and accurate to replace the words "tipped employee" with the with the words "employee who customarily and regularly receive tips"?

                          So isn't it reasonable and accurate to interpret CFR 531.52 as substantiating that a pool required by the employer would not include any employees who customarily and regularly receive tips?

                          So wouldn't it also be reasonable and accurate to interpret CFR 531.52 as substantiating that a pool required by an employer would not concern "TIPS"?

                          So now, doesn't such understanding totally disprove the DOL's suggesting that federal laws restrict employer required tip pools to employees who customarily and reguarly receive tips?

                          Federal laws cannot be restricting any kind of tip pools. The word "TIP" is to be interpreted as "money belonging to an employee".

                          Therefore, only the employee, who himself receives tips, is authorized to determine
                          who might be included in a tip pool that he has chosen to use his tips for.

                          Isn't that clear to you?

                          Again, federal laws are not attempting to restrict tip pools to employee who customarily and regularly receive tips.

                          Federal laws are attempting to insure that an employee who customarily and regularly receives tips is not prohibited from using his tips for a tip pool.

                          The previous sentence explains that all tips received by the employee are to be retained by the employee.

                          The concern is that an employee who must retain all tips might misconstrue section 203(m) as prohibiting him from giving a portion of his tips to others who aid him in his service of customers. Another concern is that those employees who like the idea of sharing their tips evenly with each other might misconstrue section 203(m) as prohibiting them from doing so.

                          What the law is stating is that the word "RETAIN" should not be construed to where an employee thinks he has to keep all his tips in his possession or where an employee thinks he cannot pool his tips with others.

                          I am certain there are Congressional records proving that Congress's concerns where exactly as I have explained. I just can't believe they have been intentionally ignored for over 40 years.

                          Isn't the intent of a law one of the most important things one should understand when attempting to properly interpret the law?

                          What the law is stating is that tips belong to the employee to whom they are given. I don't really understand why those writing the law didn't just come out and say it in a clear and unmistakable manner, but that's what the law is saying when one actually takes the time to decipher it. I guess thats why they call federal regulations, THE CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS.

                          The word "TIP" is the key to deciphering section 203(m).

                          When Congress passed the tip credit provisions of the FLSA, they did so with an understanding that from that point forward, tips would be defined under federal regulations and understood under federal laws as money belonging to an employee.

                          That's why they added provisions allowing employers to credit a limited amount of tips toward the payment of minimum wage.

                          If Congress had not intended to pass a law that prohibited employers from claiming tips as their property, they wouldn't have added provisions allowing employers to credit only a limited amount of tips towards the payment of minimum wage.

                          The truth is out their. There are still Congressmen and Senators who know the truth and yet they are silent on the issue. 40 years of intentional silence as employees continue to be robbed of what federal laws and regulations explain is money belonging to them.

                          Do you know what it feels like to be robbed every day of your adult life?

                          Do you know what it feels like to be called a liar when you tell people truthfully that your employer is stealing your tips?

                          Please answer this question, if you will answer no others.

                          If an employer allows an employee to accept "TIPS", then under federal laws and regulations isn't the employer allowing the employee to receive "money belonging to the employee which he may use as he chooses free of any control of the employer"?

                          It just seems to me that if an employer doesn't want his employee to receive tips as money belonging to the employee, the employer should have to either prohibit customers from tipping his employee, or at least prohibit his employees from accepting tips.

                          Business owners are allowing their employees to accept tips even though the employer has no intention of considering the tips as money belonging to an employee.

                          Business owners are allowing customers to give tips to their employee even though they have no intention of considering the tips money belonging to the employee.

                          Isn't that fraud?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            G money, you were told on 5-4 that this thread is from 2007.

                            If you want to continue to debate tips, please start another thread in the legal
                            lounge.

                            We don't want anyone posting anything more to this old thread.

                            Thanks.
                            Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                            Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                            Comment

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