Can dishwashers, cooks, chefs, janitors, etc. be part of a tip pool?

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Can dishwashers, cooks, chefs, janitors, etc. be part of a tip pool?

I have just learned by reading Utah law that chefs, cooks, dishwashers and janitors don’t qualify to participate in tip pools. My husband’s work gives all those people part of his tips. The employer pools the tips and gives a portion to everyone who was on shift. Including dishwashers, cooks, maintenance men, and janitors. I would also like to know if an employer can withhold tips without notice? My husband was late for work on Saturday, and she now claims she doesn’t have to give him his tips for that day. Can she do that?

Asked on July 18, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Utah

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It appears that your husband's employer may be violating the labor laws:

1) The law only allows employees who directly take part in customer care and who *could* get tips (e.g. waiters, busboys or -girls, bartenders, bar backs, hosts or hostesses) to be in tip pools and get tips. Cooks, chefs, dishwashers and janitors may not be in tip pools and can't get a share of the tips.

2) Tips can't be docked due to lateness. Of  course, your husband, assuming he's hourly, would only be paid for the hours actually worked, but that's a different story.

Your husband may wish to contact the labor department to see if they will help him. Good luck.


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