Tipped employees such as waiters, waitresses, bartenders, servers, and busgirls/busboys don't always get paid their fair share of compensation. Many times, these workers are forced to pool, share, or split their tips. While pooling, sharing, and splitting tips is permitted with other employees who normally receive tips (such as other waiters, waitresses, bartenders, servers, and busgirls/busboys), forcing an employee to pool, share, or split tips with employees who are not customarily tipped (such as cooks, chiefs, or dishwashers) will result in the employer forfeiting his right to claim a tip credit and the tipped employee is due full minimum wage for all hours worked while the tip pool, share, or split was in place. Additionally, the employee can retain all tips that were received.
On many occasions, employers also miscalculate the overtime rate for a tipped employee. This is done when a restaurant fails to realize that overtime (hours in excess of 40 hours) cannot be calculated at 1 1/2 times the tipped employee's cash wage, but all overtime hours must be computed at the higher hourly "tip credit" wage.
Other issues may also result in tipped employees receiving less than fair compensation such as employers failing to compensate tipped employees who perform opening (pre-shift) duties, or closing (post-shift) duties a full minimum wage for this non-tipped time or otherwise failing to compensate tipped employees for time at employer mandated meetings at full minimum wage, paying tipped employees the tip credit wage rather than full minimum wage when 20% or more of the work time is spent doing non-tip related work such as (food prep or cleaning), or otherwise deducting mandatory credit card tip fees from employees that are in excess of what the law allows.
If your a tipped employee and you fell that you and your tipped co-workers are not receiving proper compensation by your employer, contact Pennsylvania lawyer Craig Kalinoski at the Kalinoski Law Offices, P.C. (570)207-4000. We investigate all types of FLSA hour, wage, and overtime compensation issues.