“Back of House” Tip Pooling Could Land California Employers in Hot Water

From: JD Supra

Stefanie Renaud | Hirschfeld Kraemer LLP

As mentioned in our blog post on the Department of Labor’s (“Department”) new opinion letters clarifying aspects of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), April has seen a lot of changes and clarifications to the FLSA. One topic that has been discussed at length is the practice of tip pooling – which is common in customer-service industries where employees receive tips, such as restaurants and carwashes. The practice of tip pooling requires employees who have the most customer interaction, and typically receive tips, to share a portion of those tips with employees who have less direct interaction with customers, but still contribute to providing the customer’s service.

Trump’s New Tip Pooling Rule Means Harsh Fines for Rule-Breakers

From: Foodable

Tipping can be a minefield.  Just ask Mario Batali, Daniel Boulud or Jessica Biel.  They’ve all been sued by their employees for allegedly pocketing tips in what is rapidly becoming one of today’s most heavily litigated areas of law.  The law is confusing and, up until a few weeks ago, was silent on a key issue that spurred an interpretation dispute between the Department of Labor (DOL) and federal courts that spanned almost a decade.

Brasserie 19 Sued Over Alleged Improper Tip Pooling

From: Eater | Houston

A former server at the restaurant seeks back pay and lost wages

Surly Brewing will pay $2.5M to end lawsuit over tip-pooling

From: Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal


Surly Brewing has settled a class-action lawsuit filed by former employees who claimed the Minneapolis brewery improperly required they share their tips.

The Star Tribune reports that Surly will pay $2.5 million to settle the lawsuit. Proceeds will be split among about 140 bartenders and servers who participated in the lawsuit. Lawyers for the case will receive about one-third of the settlement.

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Houlihan’s Operator Agrees to $5M Settlement of Tip-Pooling Case With US Labor Dept.

From: New Jersey Law Journal

By Charles Toutant

An operator of Houlihan’s restaurants in New Jersey and New York has agreed to pay $5 million in a consent judgment after the U.S. Department of Labor accused it of illegally pocketing a portion of servers’ and bartenders’ tips.