Berger & Montague, P.C. is investigating potential class
action lawsuits on behalf of workers in the restaurant service
industry who are forced to share their tips with managers,
janitors, dishwashers, cooks, bouncers, or other non-tipped
employees. This type of tip pooling is illegal.
In the service industry, tip pooling is when employees who
receive tips have to contribute a portion of their tips to a larger
pool, which is then divided among a group of employees. Only
employees who regularly receive tips can be part of the pool.
Employees can't be required to share their tips with employees who
don't usually receive their own tips, such as dishwashers or cooks.
Additionally, employers, managers, and supervisors are not allowed
in the tip pool.
there laws that regulate tip pooling? Yes.
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), a federal law that
establishes minimum wage, overtime pay eligibility, recordkeeping,
and child labor standards, valid tip pools only include employees
who customarily and regularly receive tips. Valid tip pools may not
include employees who do not customarily and regularly receive
In addition, employers must notify tipped employees of any
required tip pool contribution amount, may only take tip credit for
the amount of tips each tipped employee ultimately receives, and
may not keep any of the employees' tips for any other purpose.
included in a valid tip pool?
Any employee who customarily and regularly receives tips may be
included in a valid tip pool. Examples include:
not included in a valid tip pool?
Employees who do not customarily and regularly receive tips may
not be included in a valid tip pool. Examples include:
illegal tip pooling settlements
Numerous illegal tip pooling class action lawsuits in the
restaurant service industry have settled over the last few
- Mario Batali: In March 2012,
celebrity chef Mario Batali agreed to pay $5.25 million to settle a
class action with waitstaff at his New York City restaurants
alleging that he deducted a share of alcohol sales from their tip
- Le Cirque: In August 2015, the
high-end French restaurant Le Cirque agreed to pay $1.1 million to
settle a class action alleging that the restaurant's service
workers were subjected to an illegal tip pooling policy.
- Red Robin: In December 2015, a Red
Robin franchisee agreed to pay $1.3 million to settle a class
action alleging the company bypassed minimum wage laws by allowing
kitchen workers to receive tips from the servers' pools.
If you are a current or former service worker in the restaurant
industry who was forced to share your tips with non-tipped
employees, contact Berger & Montague. You may be able to file a
class action lawsuit.
have to pay to consult with an attorney?
We are happy to talk with you about your potential claims free
of charge. If we decide to represent you in a lawsuit, we will
enter into a written contingent fee agreement with you. A
contingent fee agreement means we only get paid if we win, and that
we will receive our fees from the amount paid by the Defendant in
Please contact us to discuss the details of your case. You
- Use the contact form on this page ("Inquire About Your
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call (800) 424-6690
Your information will remain confidential and we will work to
protect your rights.
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