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

Answers:

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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