What is the law on pooled tips?

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What is the law on pooled tips?

I work at a job we’re we only receive tips on holidays but all the tips are combined at then split after the 24 hour period based on the number of hours worked. Is this legal?

Asked on November 23, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Connecticut

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

There is no specific law on tip-pooling in CT. Accordingly, federal law is observed. The controlling statute is the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"). The FLSA expressly permits employees to pool their tips. In fact  an employer can require employees to do so as well as determine the tip-pooling arrangement among employees in the pool.

However, there are 2 exceptions:

  1. A tip pooling arrangement is illegal if an employee must relinquish more than a “customary and reasonable” amount of tips to the pool (although the law does not place any maximum on the amount of tips contributed to a pool); and
  2. Only employees who customarily and regularly receive tips can participate in a tip pool (e.g. a waiter, bellhop, busboy, counter personnel, hostess or bartender); employees who do not customarily and regularly receive tips can't participate in a tip pool (e.g. a janitor, dishwasher, cook or laundry room attendant).

Note: Employers or their agents however, cannot participate in a tip pool. 


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