Do Tipped Employees Make Minimum Wage?

When states increase the minimum wage, there is often confusion about what applies to employees who get tipped--such as restaurant workers. Many states across the country only require servers to receive $2.13 an hour if they are tipped workers, but some states now require that they pay them the flat minimum wage in addition to the tips they earn. If you are a tipped worker, you should understand how much you should be receiving from your employer aside from your earned tips.

Are There Tipped Wages in California?

In California, there aren’t any tipped wages. This means that servers should be paid at least the regular minimum wage of $12 an hour before tips if their employer has 25 employees or less. If your employer has 26 employees or more, your minimum wage should be $13 an hour before tips.

Is It Illegal for My Employer to Take My Tips?

“Tip pooling” is when an employer takes some or all of the servers’ tips and redistributes them to other employees at the restaurant. Employers are allowed to practice tip pooling to ensure that the staff receives a fair wage. However, dishonest staff or employers may pocket a portion of their tips or take more. When this occurs, it is considered a wage violation. When an employer withholds your pay (including tips), you can file a claim against them.

What Should I Do If I Have Unpaid Tips?

If you believe your employer denied your rightful earned tips, it could be a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. If so, you may be eligible to file a wage claim. The first thing you should do is contact our Monterey County employment law attorneys. We can analyze your case and help you gather the evidence needed to prove that your employer is improperly pooling from tips. Attorney Bill Marder offers free, no-obligation, and confidential consultations and is prepared to put his more than 25 years of legal experience in employment law to work for you.

Contact our Monterey County attorneys today at (888) 796-4010 to schedule a case review!

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