The Trouble with Tips

June 16, 2014 – In The News
Restaurant Business
Carolyn D. Richmond was quoted in Restaurant Business' article, "The Trouble with Tips." Full text can be found in the June 16, 2014, issue, but a synopsis is below.

More frequently, restaurant owners have been removing their tip jars from counters in anticipation of recent legislative campaigns to shrink tip credit.

Fox Rothschild hospitality attorney Carolyn Richmond comments, "Restaurants have opened a Pandora’s box for plaintiff lawyers." Although tipping laws have existed the restaurant industry for decades, the laws were so complicated that restaurant owners leniently observed and enforced them.

Richmond continues to say, "Lawyers started realizing that class-action wage-and-hour lawsuits are more lucrative and less labor intensive than traditional discrimination suits. There’s a whole panoply of other laws that nobody had paid attention to, like tipping and service charges, minutiae that didn’t affect other industries."

In regards to which workers are entitled to receive tips, Richmond says, "If your primary job function is not providing tipped work, you shouldn’t be taking tips." In other words, since federal rules state that tips belong to the servers who receive them, management cannot deduct from gratuity to share tips with non-tipped workers.