Are employers allowed to make servers pay for a

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Are employers allowed to make servers pay for a

I’m a waiter at a restaurant and while serving a few tables yesterday, a couple came in to dine. At one point of the night they asked,

Asked on October 8, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

1) House tips are illegal: all the money must go to the tip eligible employees (e.g. waiters, bartenders, bus boys, the host(ess) who seats customers, etc.). If the employer keeps will not pay you 100% of your tips, you could file a complaint with the state department of labor for the tips to which you are entitled.
2) However, servers are ressponsible for "dining and dashing" because the server was negligent, or careless, in allowing the customers to do this. The employer may demand that the servers repay the money that their carelessness cost the employer; if the servers will not pay, it could sue them for the money and could certainly terminate them.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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