If an owner participates in the duties of serving the business’s patrons, is she also entitled to participate in the tip sharing pool?

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If an owner participates in the duties of serving the business’s patrons, is she also entitled to participate in the tip sharing pool?

I am an accountant and work with a brewery which employees 4-5 bar servers. The owner participates in serving behind the bar at scheduled times. When the owner participates behind the bar, she also participates in the tip sharing with the other employees who work during the tip sharing period. Is she entitled to the tip sharing pool for the hours she worked in the given day/week?

Asked on June 25, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Participating in a tip pool is based on the duties performed and not the fact of ownership. In other words, if your owner performed duties for which any other worker would be eligible to participate in the pool for, then as long as she performed those duties she can share in the tips (but only for such duties). This is true regardles of the fact that she is also the owner. 

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Yes, if the owner is doing tippable duties, she may participate in tipping (i.e. stip sharing or poolling) for the period of time she is doing those tippable things. Tip eligibility depends on duties, not ownership or lack thereof of the establishment.


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