Can I sue my employer if he was stealing money from my coworker and I?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can I sue my employer if he was stealing money from my coworker and I?

I am a waitress at a casual restaurant
and my boss the owner was
supposed to take 3 the percentage
that credit card companies charge
every time you swipe a card out of a
servers tips. However he was taking
the 3 out of our individual server
sales then taking it out of our tips. For
example if I make 100 in tips he’s only
legally supposed to take 3 out which
is 3. But if I sold 500 and made
100 in tips, he would take 3 of the
500, which is 15, then take it out of
my 100 so I would only be left with
85. It’s a violation of the FLSA and I
want to know what legal action I should
take against him. Thank you

Asked on June 19, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

As you correctly note, your employer appears to be passing on his own credit card charges/fees to you, which he may not do: you are owed your full tips, less only any reduction in the amount of the tip itself due to the credit card fee (e.g. a $100 tip if the credit card company takes/charges/holds back/etc. 3% is really a $97 tip, as you note). Try contacting the state department of labor, which enforces the labor laws, and filing a complaint: they should be able to help you get the tips you are owed. If they won't, you could sue for the money assuming you have documented and can prove it, such as in small claims court acting as your own attorney or "pro se."

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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