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tips gone where???? New Jersey

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  • tips gone where???? New Jersey

    i work in a fast paced restuarant/bar in new jersey. being a bartender alongside four others, we pool tips. in the past one of our bartenders who we called bar manager or bar captain would sit at the bar at the end of the night and count the tips before bringing them into the office where the general manager would divi them up according to who he was getting along with the best that day or week or what have you. recently our floor manager now comes behind our bar and takes all of our tips into a closed office and an hour or so later walks out with sealed envelopes. none of us ever even knowing how much we initially had. is this legal? shouldnt one person from the bar staff be present behind that closed door when their counting ourrrrrr money?

  • #2
    You can be required to contribute a "reasonable" percentage of your tips to a tip pool. Obviously, 100% is not "reasonable".

    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.
    [I]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.[I]
    http://www.dol.gov/esa/regs/compliance/whd/whdfs15.htm
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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    • #3
      still confused

      i called the nj department of labor and they said they can take all ur tips as long as when they walk out of the office and hand you, your cut, your making minimum wage. this can't be right!!! so if i make 400 dollars on an eight hour shift saturday night, as long as i get $40.16 thats ok because i'm making an additional $2.13 an hour? i need some kind of clarification, i'm getting mixed answers all around the board. thanks so much for the help.

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      • #4
        I have never heard something so ridiculous

        I have been a Bartender and manager of restaurants all my life about 30 years, In California & Nevada. We pool our tips if there is more than one bartender at the end of the shift We the Bartenders split it up according to the hours we work, this is in case one bartender only works 4 the other 8. Our employer has no clue how much we make and it isn't any of his business.

        The word"TIPS" stands for To Insure Proper Service and this isn't your employer serving.. How would the employer know if you just split between yourselves and then hand some over for them to re divide..Something is wrong here.

        That why you get into the Bartending business is to made tips.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by imanjgirl2 View Post
          i called the nj department of labor and they said they can take all ur tips as long as when they walk out of the office and hand you, your cut, your making minimum wage. this can't be right!!! so if i make 400 dollars on an eight hour shift saturday night, as long as i get $40.16 thats ok because i'm making an additional $2.13 an hour? i need some kind of clarification, i'm getting mixed answers all around the board. thanks so much for the help.
          NJ law may allow the employer to take 100% of your tips and give you back just enough to get you to minimum wage (I doubt that really is true; either you may not have explained it correctly, or the person you spoke with had no idea what they were talking about, or NJ law is silent on the issue), but federal law doesn't allow it. "Your cut" is 100% of what you collected from your customers as tips, less a "reasonable" percentage contributed to the tip pool, which is then distributed to "non-tipped" support employees, such as bus boys and barbacks. NOT other regularly tipped employees. You CANNOT be required to give your employer 100% of your tips, so that they can be pooled with other tipped employees' tips and then re-distributed randomly.

          If you were gonna call the NJ DOL, why did you post here? BTW, what I gave you was federal law.
          Last edited by Pattymd; 01-25-2007, 09:08 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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          • #6
            tipssss

            the reason for the post and the phone calls is that we are having a bar meeting today and i really need the correct laws and or information so something can be done. without any proper documention there response to the issue is, "if u don't like it quit."

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            • #7
              imanjgirl2: i called the nj department of labor and they said they can take all ur tips as long as when they walk out of the office and hand you your cut you're making minimum wage.

              I suspect something got lost in the translation. A few pointers for you:

              1. NJ minimum wage rate = $7.15/hr

              2. NJ allows tip credit. This means your employer does not have to directly pay you $7.15/hour. Your employer can pay you $2.13/hour with the assumption you will make up the difference of $5.02 ($7.15-$2.13) in tips. There are some ordering rules that must be followed when dealing with tips. First, tips must be allocated to employees to bring them up to the minimum wage rate. The remaining tips serve as the "pool," which can be apportioned among bartenders, waiters, waitresses, busboys, etc., in a reasonable and customary fashion.

              3. Your employer CAN NOT allocate tips "based who he was getting along with the best that day or week." This is simply not in accordance with the law.

              4. Your employer CAN NOT keep your tips or the tips of any other employee. Again, this is simply not in accordance with the law.

              My suggestions: Ask your employer directly what formula or method it uses to allocate tips among employees. If it does not comply with the rules I outined above, file a wage claim with the federal DOL and/or state of NJ.
              Barry S. Phillips, CPA
              www.BarryPhillips.com

              IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: This response is intended to provide general information and written for educational purposes only. It does not establish a client relationship. This communication is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding tax-related penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to any party any matters addressed herein.

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              • #8
                tip bucket

                barry/or whom ever else..... what is the actual law on him taking the tip bucket into the office. we can't prove or disprove for that matter if any money is missing if we don't know how much is there to begin with.

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                • #9
                  I don't know that you or any other employee can legally force yourself into the money counting room, although you can ask to be present. In an honest (and respectful) way, explain to your employer that all tipped employees would feel more comfortable if this were to occur. Regardless of his response, I would insist (again politely) on being apprised of the formula he uses to allocate tipped money.
                  Barry S. Phillips, CPA
                  www.BarryPhillips.com

                  IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: This response is intended to provide general information and written for educational purposes only. It does not establish a client relationship. This communication is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding tax-related penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to any party any matters addressed herein.

                  Comment

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