Bloomington, IL asked in Employment Law for Illinois

Q: How can I stop my employer from tip pooling?

We were all brought back to the restaurant for outside sitting. They have recieved the PPP and are paying everyone $10 plus tips are being pooled now. Prior to covid, the busses and runners were tipped a percentage. Now they are getting equal shares based on hours. Basically, the kids got a pay raise and the career servers/bartenders got a decline in pay. I dont see how this is fair. I've worked at this establishment for 7 years and have been a top salesperson the whole time. Please help me.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert

A: Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, tip pools are permissible as long as tips are only being pooled between people who would ordinarily receive tips or contribute to the customer's tip. This includes servers and bartenders as well as bussers and runners. As long as you do NOT have to pool tips with kitchen staff (or other positions who do not ordinarily receive tips), then your employer has a lot of discretion regarding how the tip pool system is designed. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like your restaurant's new tip pooling system is unlawful.

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