Is it legal for my boss to take my tips.

I am a tipped employee according to FLSA but I get wage more then minimum also.
We pull tips at work and tips are big part of my pay. I felt very sick at work and had
to leave an hour early before my shift ends. My employer said, since I’m leaving
earlier I will not get tips. I worked for 5 hours during which I got a lot tips that would
be the part of our tip pull. My employer have not gave me any notice prior to taking
my tips. This was the first time I heard of this rule ‘ you leave earlier – you not
getting a tip’ at my work for 5 years that I worked there. Is it legal for my employer
to take my tips away like that?

Asked on May 9, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, it is not legal for an employer to take or withhold tips for this reason. Obviously, if you left early, you would not get tips paid *after* you left/stopped working, but you would still receive tips paid before you left; you are entitled to your share of the tips you worked for. You could file a wage and hour complaint (e.g. with the state department of labor) against your employer for this, but since that is a drastic step which will damage your relationship with the employer, it is not at all clear that this is worthwhile.

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