Tip Violations in California
Browse articles:
Auto Beauty Business Culture Dieting DIY Events Fashion Finance Food Freelancing Gardening Health Hobbies Home Internet Jobs Law Local Media Men's Health Mobile Nutrition Parenting Pets Pregnancy Products Psychology Real Estate Relationships Science Seniors Sports Technology Travel Wellness Women's Health
Browse companies:
Automotive Crafts, Hobbies & Gifts Department Stores Electronics & Wearables Fashion Food & Drink Health & Beauty Home & Garden Online Services & Software Sports & Outdoors Subscription Boxes Toys, Kids & Baby Travel & Events

Tip Violations in California

Walking to serve a customer every time a bell is rung earns tips the worker can count on keeping. Managers that walk off with the tip money violate the California labor code.

Any tip put in the hands of the manager must be paid to the worker that earned the tip. Workers not given their tips are short on pay.

Tip pay outs are a sure thing in California. One penny kept is a failure to guarantee no income is lost.

Counting Tips

Tips are never separated from the tipped worker. Waitresses and waiters own the tips. Managers often count up the tips paid by customers during the day, or the night, to tally how much money customers were willing to give. The tip count only goes in the worker's column on a tally sheet. The California labor code says the earnings go to the worker.

Giving Back to Tipped Workers

Work done by tipped workers is not held cheap. A tip is a kind act done to show service is appreciated. Managers know a penny is given for a waitress's words. Not for food or drink. They always have to find the money to put in the tipped worker's hands. Refusing to pay out tips, or shorting the worker, violates the labor code. In anyone else's hands, the money is not real earnings.

Taking away the service incentive is a violation any way the act is done. Asking the worker to give the tip money and lower their wages lowers their income. Taking the money out of their wages does the same thing. The money is offered to only one person. No one else has a right to take it.

The Receipt Breakdown

Every penny on a receipt belongs to a name. Exact breakdowns into totals for the business and for each worker are a regular practice. The tips are paid out in full by the next pay day. Using a credit card to pay the dinner bill does not change a tip amount. Charges the credit card company takes from the business for running a credit card are never taken from tips. Thinning out the tip a little is a violation.

Violation Reports

Tipped workers in need of payment can get help from the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. The boss might need the law explained. Even forgetful managers that never get around to giving workers their tips get turned in. If necessary, a worker can file a wage claim.

A Fair Deal

Every day, extra pay is paid for extra work. Service never comes for free. No matter how much money a manager decides to keep.


California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, The Laws Relating To The Time, Manner and Payment of Wages (Revised December 2010).

Additional resources:

Need an answer?
Get insightful answers from community-recommended
in Employment Law on Knoji.
Would you recommend this author as an expert in Employment Law?
You have 0 recommendations remaining to grant today.
Comments (0)