Anyone who has ever waited tables knows how valuable a good tip is. It brings the wages of tipped employees up, makes it possible for restaurant owners to keep food prices reasonable, and gives workers an incentive to work during extra busy and stressful shifts throughout the week.
U.S. Department of Labor defines tipped employees as those who regularly receive more than $30 a month in tips. Such employees, depending on the state, can be paid a minimum of $2.13 per hour, as opposed to the traditional federal minimum wage of $7.25. The tips that are used to bring tipped employees up to minimum wage are known as a tip credit. If the employee does not make enough in tips to meet the federal minimum wage standard, the employer must make up the difference, according to 29 U.S. Code § 203 (m).
California, however, is a bit different in that the state requires employers to pay full minimum wage before tips. The state’s minimum wage is also higher than national, ranging from $10.50 (for employers with fewer than 26 employees) to $11 (26 or more employees). Continue Reading ›