In general, tip pooling is legal, but only if certain requirements are met.

This is a rather controversial topic, especially because tip-sharing is typical in today’s standards. Tip-sharing is typically in the form of counter jars, where employees each have to share the tips in the communal pot.

Under federal law, employees can share tips only with other employees who serve customers and receive tips. If the purpose of tip-sharing is to share tips among all tipped employees, and not to give tips to employees who otherwise would not receive them, then that’s okay. This also means that if your manger who never actually serves customers then he or she might not most likely be entitled to a share of the tip share.

The most important note to consider is that no employers are allowed in the pool. As a key rule: tips belong to employees, and not the company.

David Payab, Esq. from The Law Offices of Payab & Associates can be reached @ (818) 918-5522 or by visiting


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