Can a bar manager schedule themselves as a bartender, work the shift, and keep the tips?

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Can a bar manager schedule themselves as a bartender, work the shift, and keep the tips?

The manager at this particular bar was a server/bartender before accepting the position as general manager for the new owner. She still works 1 day a week as a bartender. Is it legal for her to keep tips?

Asked on March 24, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You raise a very interesting question here.  You are not asking about tip pooling - which management is forbidden from sharing in as it violates the Labor Law - but rather tips left for specific employees.  If she is working in the same capacity as any other employee - and I mean not bar tending AND managing the bar - then it might not be a violation of the Labor Code and she may be entitled to collect the tips.  If you want to double check call your state Department of Labor and ask them specifically if this violates Labor Code Section 351.  Give them all the facts as you know them  You should be able to get an answer.  Good luck.


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