Federal wage-related legislation is in place for tipped workers, including valets and bartenders, for example. It is known as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Here is a look at what employees in New York should know about this act and how it impacts their working lives.
According to the Fair Labor Standards Act, tipped employees include workers who regularly earn tips totaling over $30 every month. Any tips earned are deemed the property of the respective tipped employees, although they can legally pool their tips. Although the total tip amount for an employee oftentimes surpasses the wages that his or her employer pays, tips usually fluctuate based on various factors, such as customer volume.
Employers must legally pay tipped employees a minimum wage of $2.13 per hour. However, an employer generally may also factor tips into its wage obligation. This is known as a tip credit. If the employer's wages plus tips fail to add up to $7.25 -- the current federal minimum wage, the employer is required to make up the difference.
Unfortunately, some employers are not aware of the requirements laid out in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), or they choose to ignore these requirements. This can ultimately have an adverse financial impact on employees in New York and elsewhere. Those who feel that their tip- and wage-related rights are being violated have the right to explore their legal options, including filing a civil claim against their employers. An understanding of what facts have to be proved will likely be necessary to prevail in such a case.
Source: findlaw.com, "Tipped Employees Under the FLSA", Accessed on May 23, 2018