Is it illegal to pocket your own tip when you are part of a tip pool?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is it illegal to pocket your own tip when you are part of a tip pool?

I am a server where we all participate in a tip
pool. I’m pretty good about giving all of my tips
to the restaurant but I’ve had a few regular
customers lately tip me on their credit card
slips and then give me a cash tip for myself. I’m
wondering if this is illegal or just fireable?

Asked on February 4, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Nevada


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

It is something you can be terminated for. An employer is allowed to set up a tip pool for employees rather than having employees keep their individual tips. If you ignore your employer's policy and do not put all tips into the pool, they can terminate you; worse, the termination could be "for cause" (for violating policy), which would make you ineligible for unemployment benefits.

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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