is it illegal to hold tips from an employee if they quit?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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is it illegal to hold tips from an employee if they quit?

hi, I recently quit a job due to the management and the environment. I couldn’t take it anymore so I walked out, now they are trying to tell me that I’m not getting my tips for that night due to me walking out. I just need to know if that is legal to do or not.

Asked on June 6, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The basic rule oregarding tips is that they belong to the employee, not the employer. An employees cannot be required to give their tips, or any part of them, to the company (except as part of a valid tip pooling arrangement and the employer can't be part of the pool). Essentially, tips are treated the same as any other wages earned. They must be paid out, whether or not the employee quits or is terminated. In MI, when an employee quits, the employer must pay the employee all wages due by the next regularly scheduled payday.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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