Employment Law/Tip out


I work in ma restaurant that requires me to tip out 1% of my sales to cooks that make well over minimum wage. Is this legal?

Ann - No, it is not.  You can seek to have your employer correct this, or you can contact your state Office of Labor and Workforce Development, which has this to say about your question:

Can tipped employees be paid a different minimum wage?

Yes, the minimum wage for tipped employees (employees who receive more than $20 a month in tips) is $2.63 per hour. However, for tipped employees to be paid this rate, they must be informed of the law, must receive at least minimum wage when tips and wages are combined, and all tips must be retained by the employee or distributed through a valid tip-pooling arrangement. Tip-pooling arrangements must conform with the requirements of M.G.L. c. 149, 152A

Sharing with cooks does not meet the above requirements.  

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Margaret M. deMarteleire


I can answer most questions about employment law, federal or state. I am an attorney, not an HR professional, so questions about HR careers, coursework, prospects, etc. are not within my scope.


Attorney for 20 years, currently working exclusively with employment law - FLSA, FMLA, federal contracts, pay, etc.

Temple University School of Liberal Arts, BA, Rhetoric & Communication, 1982 Temple University School of Law, JD, 1990 Certificate in HR, Cornell University ILR School, 2006

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