Tip Pooling And Other Employment Law Claims Affecting Restaurant Workers

As a bartender, server, waiter, busboy, or caterer working in New York's restaurant industry, tips make up a large portion of your income. But when your tips are pooled together and shared with managers or other non-service employees, or your credit card tips are taken by employers to cover expenses that shouldn't be your financial responsibility, then you're missing out on valuable income that is rightly yours.

An Established Firm Representing Restaurant Employees

At The Law Offices of Jeffrey E. Goldman, our attorneys have consistently helped restaurant workers in Manhattan and throughout the five boroughs hold employers accountable for skimming, pooling or otherwise illegally taking wages from their workers.

Combining over 24 years of experience, we understand the methods restaurants and other food-service industry employers use to illegally withhold tips from their workers. As your lawyers, we can explain the law, how it applies to your situation and take appropriate steps toward recovering the money you are owed.

Claims we commonly see involve:

  • Employers illegally taking credit card tips
  • Illegally sharing or pooling tips to include employees who normally do not qualify for tips (dishwashers, maitre d's, receptionists, stockers, assistant managers, managers, etc.)
  • Illegally sharing tips to compensate non-service employees who should legally be making a higher minimum wage
  • Employers illegally retaining corporate gratuities that should go to servers
  • Illegally misidentifying an employee's status to avoid paying appropriate compensation that would normally be attributed to that particular position

There's no doubt that the restaurant business is competitive, and that managers and restaurant owners are under a lot of pressure to get ahead. However, that doesn't mean employers should shortchange their employees to gain an edge.

If you believe that your tips are being illegally pooled, garnished or otherwise mishandled by your employer, it's important to reach out to an attorney with experience handling these types of wage and hour claims. Instead of making assumptions, your lawyer can review your circumstances and offer clear instructions on how to proceed.

Minimum Wage For Restaurant And Hospitality Employees In New York

Below are the minimum hourly wage rates for hospitality industry workers as outlined by the New York State Department of Labor:

§ 146-1.2. Basic minimum hourly rate.

(a) The basic minimum hourly rate, except for fast food employees, shall be:

  • (1) $ 7.25 per hour on and after January 1, 2011;
  • (2) $ 8.00 per hour on and after December 31, 2013;
  • (3) $ 8.75 per hour on and after December 31, 2014;
  • (4) $ 9.00 per hour on and after December 31, 2015.

(b) The basic minimum hourly rate for fast food employees employed in the City of New York shall be:

  • (1) $10.50 per hour on and after December 31, 2015;
  • (2) $12.00 per hour on and after December 31, 2016;
  • (3) $13.50 per hour on and after December 31, 2017;
  • (4) $15.00 per hour on and after December 31, 2018.

(c) The basic minimum hourly rate for fast food employees employed outside of the City of New York shall be:

  • (1) $9.75 per hour on and after December 31, 2015;
  • (2) $10.75 per hour on and after December 31, 2016;
  • (3) $11.75 per hour on and after December 31, 2017;
  • (4) $12.75 per hour on and after December 31, 2018;
  • (5) $13.75 per hour on and after December 31, 2019;
  • (6) $14.50 per hour on and after December 31, 2020;
  • (7) $15.00 per hour on and after July 1, 2021.

(d) If a higher wage is established by federal law pursuant to 29 U.S.C. section 206 or any successor provisions, such wage shall apply.

Is Your Boss Illegally Taking Your Tips? Talk To Our Attorneys.

To schedule a consultation at our office in Midtown Manhattan, call 646-835-2063 or complete our online contact form. We are responsive and will work closely with you throughout your claim.