29 CFR § 531.54 - Tip pooling.

§ 531.54 Tip pooling.

(a) Monies counted as tips. Where employees practice tip splitting, as where waiters give a portion of their tips to the busser, both the amounts retained by the waiters and those given the bussers are considered tips of the individuals who retain them, in applying the provisions of sections 3(m)(2)(A) and 3(t). Similarly, where an accounting is made to an employer for his or her information only or in furtherance of a pooling arrangement whereby the employer redistributes the tips to the employees upon some basis to which they have mutually agreed among themselves, the amounts received and retained by each individual as his or her own are counted as his or her tips for purposes of the Act. Section 3(m)(2)(A) does not impose a maximum contribution percentage on mandatory tip pools.

(b) Prohibition against keeping tips -

(1) Meaning of “keep.” Section 3(m)(2)(B)'s prohibition against keeping tips applies regardless of whether an employer takes a tip credit. Section 3(m)(2)(B) expressly prohibits employers from requiring employees to share tips with managers or supervisors, as defined in § 531.52(b)(2), or employers, as defined in 29 U.S.C. 203(d). An employer does not violate section 3(m)(2)(B)'s prohibition against keeping tips if it requires employees to share tips with other employees who are eligible to receive tips.

(2) Full and prompt distribution of tips. An employer that facilitates tip pooling by collecting and redistributing employees' tips does not violate section 3(m)(2)(B)'s prohibition against keeping tips if it fully distributes any tips the employer collects no later than the regular payday for the workweek in which the tips were collected, or when the pay period covers more than a single workweek, the regular payday for the period in which the workweek ends. To the extent that it is not possible for an employer to ascertain the amount of tips that have been received or how tips should be distributed prior to processing payroll, tips must be distributed to employees as soon as practicable after the regular payday.

(c) Employers that take a section 3(m)(2)(A) tip credit. When an employer takes a tip credit pursuant to section 3(m)(2)(A):

(1) The employer may require an employee for whom the employer takes a tip credit to contribute tips to a tip pool only if it is limited to employees who customarily and regularly receive tips; and

(2) The employer must notify its employees of any required tip pool contribution amount, may only take a tip credit for the amount of tips each employee ultimately receives, and may not retain any of the employees' tips for any other purpose.

(3) An employer may not participate in such a tip pool and may not include managers and supervisors in the pool.

(d) Employers that do not take a section 3(m)(2)(A) tip credit. An employer that pays its tipped employees the full minimum wage and does not take a tip credit may impose a tip pooling arrangement that includes dishwashers, cooks, or other employees in the establishment who are not employed in an occupation in which employees customarily and regularly receive tips. An employer may not participate in such a tip pool and may not include supervisors and managers in the pool.

[85 FR 86789, Dec. 30, 2020]

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