I'm a waitress and work for tips. Do I have to share my tips with the cooks and the dishwashers at the end of the night?

No. "Back of the house" staff, or those people who work in the kitchen and prep areas, are not entitled to any of your tips, since they are paid an hourly rate. You are the one who works for tips and agrees to a lower hourly pay rate. It was also your service and interaction with the dining guest that earned you that tip. 

When tips get shared, it is called "tip pooling," and employers have to meet certain conditions in order for tip pools to remain valid under the Fair Labor Standards Act. One of those conditions is that the tip pool cannot involve employees who do not customarily recieve tips, like cooks, food expeditors, or dish washers.

Our Texas fair restaurant wage lawyers have compiled a brief list of people who are not entitled to share in your tips:
  • Cooks
  • Food preparation workers
  • Bussers
  • Dishwashers
  • Managers
  • Employers
You are under no obligation to contribute to any type of tip pool, even if you are directly asked to do so by management. If you have been doing so, then you may be entitled to a claim. Order your free copy of the Ten Biggest Mistakes That Can Hurt Your Wage and Overtime Claim by calling 888.449.2068 today.
Galvin B. Kennedy
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Galvin Kennedy is a founding partner of Kennedy Hodges. He focuses his practice to overtime and wage claims.