Kansas City Tip Pooling Lawyer
Numerous Kansas and Missouri workers rely on tips to pay their bills and put food on their tables. Employees who work for tips are legally protected under state and federal labor laws. Still, these regulations are often misconstrued, and the lines between what counts as a tip, how much your employer is required to pay you, and acceptable tip pooling are often blurred.
If you believe your Kansas City employer is illegally tip pooling or has underpaid you, you may be entitled to unpaid wages. You work hard to make an honest living, and you deserve to be adequately paid for your labor. Contact the Hollis Law Firm workers’ rights attorney to schedule a free, confidential evaluation of your situation to determine if you have a valid claim for unpaid wages today.
Are You Receiving the Tipped Wages You Deserve as a Worker in Kansas City?
According to a 2021 study, wage theft is estimated to impact over 2.4 million workers each year, many of whom work in the restaurant industry. In fact, an earlier investigation revealed that a staggering 84% of investigated restaurants had some type of minimum wage violation.
Waitstaff, bartenders, valets, housekeepers, and other tipped workers in Kansas City typically earn more from their tipped wages than their employer-paid salaries (the federal minimum wage for tipped employees is just $2.13 per hour). Since tips can be inconsistent, many restaurants have implemented tip pools to ensure that all staff members are fairly compensated for contributing to the customer’s overall experience.
Federal law permits employers to pay tipped employees under the delegated minimum wage as long as those employees make enough in tips to cover the difference, also known as a “tip credit.” Should a tipped worker fail to generate enough tips during their workweek to earn at least the minimum wage for each hour worked, the employer must make up the difference.
Do Tipped Workers Have to Contribute to Tipping Pools in Kansas City?
Many tipping pools are legitimate, but all too often, tip pools and tip sharing strategies are not always executed correctly, causing employees to miss out on wages they rightfully earned. Under federal and state laws, tips belong to the employee, and employers cannot force workers to hand over their tips unless one of the following exceptions applies:
- State law permits the employer to take a tip credit, allowing the employer to count some tips as if they had paid them directly to the employee. Kansas and Missouri laws grant employers the ability to take a tip credit.
- The employee is taking part in a lawful tip pool. Under federal law and most state laws, employees can be required to submit a portion of their tips to a tip pool to be split among other employees. Many states, including both Kansas and Missouri, allow businesses to mandate tip pooling.
All tipped workers in Kansas City who are subjected to tip pooling must:
- Be notified of the requirement to chip in a portion of their tips in advance
- Not be expected to pay more into the pool than is reasonable
- Be able to maintain the full minimum wage
Employers who claim a tip credit are federally mandated to only require workers who consistently take in tips to be part of the tip pool. Employees who do not typically earn tips, such as dishwashers and cooks, cannot be made to share their tips with other employees unless their employer does not claim a tip credit and directly pays them the minimum wage. Owners, managers, and other supervisors are not allowed to be tipped out from a shared tip pool.
Meet With an Employee Rights Attorney to Verify Your Tipped Wages in Kansas City
At Hollis Law Firm, our skilled employment law attorney has experience helping workers recover the earnings they have lost, whether to illegitimate tipping pools or other shady practices. Our employment lawyer is located in Kansas City and is proud to provide our clients with the knowledgeable and dedicated representation they deserve.
If you have lost a portion of your hard-earned wages to an illegal tip pool in Kansas City, call our office today at (800) 701-3672 or submit a completed contact form to schedule a free evaluation of your case.
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