Q: Can a restaurant take 20% of my tips to give to the kitchen staff or to other tipped servers that work “bad” shifts?
A: The Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") is the federal law governing tip pooling agreements. While tip pooling is generally permissible, your employer can only require you to pool your tips with other employees who customarily receive tips (for example, other servers or bartenders). Your employer may NOT require you to give a percentage of your tips to employees who are not traditionally tipped, such as kitchen staff.
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