When you work in a restaurant, tips are usually the majority of your income. Server base direct wages tend to be lower (tipped minimum wage is federally mandated at $2.13 hourly, but is higher in some states depending on that state’s laws) because the wage takes tips into account. In restaurants, tip sharing or pooling can ensure that staff members are fairly compensated for their participation in the customer’s overall experience.
However, tip pooling and tip sharing are not always carried out correctly, and certain practices not only take pay away from lower-waged workers, they are illegal. You may be a victim of wage theft and not even know it. Not sure? Here’s our tip pooling, tip sharing, and tipping out breakdown along with examples for each.