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Can a waitress be forced to tip out her serving bartender?

Can a waitress be forced to tip out her serving bartender?


Old 11-04-10, 09:35 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Florida
Posts: 288
Can a waitress be forced to tip out her serving bartender?

I am a part-time waitress at a private Elks club in Florida. For several years I was a volunteer waitress every Tuesday from 11am to 2pm, working only for the tips I received. I was the only waitress working with a paid bartender. We voluntarily helped each other out and the bartender never asked to be tipped out.

About 3 years ago management decided to make the entire volunteer waitstaff employees. My working arrangements with a different bartender remained pretty much the same except now I was legally required to report my tips.

Recently management cut my schedule in half and now I work every other Tuesday. They also told me that I am required to tip out the bartender an amount equal to 10% of the tips I make on the shift.

I would like to know if it is legal to force me to tip-out the bartender. If so, must I give her 10% of my total tips or 10% of my net tips after the minimum wage of $7.25/hr.is satisfied? The minimum wage is the sum of my hourly wage of $4.23 and an houly tip credit of $3.02 .

If she must be tipped out based on my total tips, there are weeks when I will be working for less than minimum wage and just seems wrong!
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Old 11-04-10, 11:59 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 3,188
Management cannot force you to do anything. If you don't like the current arrangement you have the option to leave.
Old 11-04-10, 01:58 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 44,041
I know the rules are somewhat different for those who work on tips but I wouldn't think it would be legal for management to make you give the bartender a portion of your tips IF it reduces your pay below minimum wage. You might check with your local labor board.
Old 11-27-10, 08:07 AM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: usa
Posts: 32
is is from the department of labors website : U.S. Department of Labor - Wage and Hour Division (WHD) - Fact Sheet

Tip Pooling: The requirement that an employee must retain all tips does not preclude a valid tip pooling or sharing arrangement among employees who customarily and regularly receive tips, such as waiters, waitresses, bellhops, counter personnel (who serve customers), busboys/girls and service bartenders. Tipped employees may not be required to share their tips with employees who have not customarily and regularly participated in tip pooling arrangements, such as dishwashers, cooks, chefs, and janitors. Only those tips that are in excess of tips used for the tip credit may be taken for a pool. Tipped employees cannot be required to contribute a greater percentage of their tips than is customary and reasonable.
Old 11-27-10, 10:13 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 6,127
I always leave my tips in cash and never put them on a credit card. Then. It is up the the waitress to do as she chooses.

I also belonged to a country club where there was a tip automatically added to the amount for the pool. If you tipped in cash for better service, you could lose your membership. -
it helped to provide good service in every way, by anyone.

Old 11-27-10, 01:45 PM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 3,188
I look at it this way. If I order a drink with dinner the waitress goes to the bartender who prepares my drink. Why wouldn't the bartender deserve to share in the tip that I leave for service?
Old 11-28-10, 10:29 AM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 35
The bartender didn't provide you with the service, they did there job as they were hired to do. The waitress's job is to bring your food and take your order. You tipped her for the "extra" service they provided.

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