Legal Magazine

Are You Working Under A Tip Credit?

Posted on the 24 October 2013 by Harvey Cohen @cohenbattisti12

Let’s face it: if you’re working as a server or bartender, tips can be your lifeline.  If you work in the state of Florida, and you are under a tip credit, there are certain job duties that you are not required perform, and certain things you should know to make sure you are being compensated correctly.

What is a Tip Credit?

First off, what exactly is a tip credit?  Section 3(m) of the FLSA permits an employer to take a tip credit toward its minimum wage obligation for tipped employees to equal the difference between the require cash wage.  What this means is that the money you get in tips actually becomes part of your pay, and your employer DOES NOT have to pay you full federal minimum wage, because your tips become part of your pay check.  While you will be paid at least minimum wage, your employer is only paying the difference between minimum wage, and your tips.

What is the FLSA?

Now that we understand what a tipped credit is, it’s important to know who regulates your tips. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was passed in 1938, and prescribes standards for wages and overtime pay.  This act requires employers to pay covered employees at least the federal minimum wage, and overtime pay of one-and-one-half-times the regular rate of pay.

Do’s and Don’ts

Let’s get into the do’s and don’ts of tip credits.  If you are under a tip credit system, your employer must first explain the system to you. Your employer cannot allow the tip credit to exceed the actual amount of tips you receive.  If you are a NON TIPPED employee, such as a manager, cook, janitor, etc., then the tip credit system cannot be forced upon you.  Finally, if more then 20% of your work is spent performing non-tipped work, such as cleaning, stocking, getting ice, rolling silverware, (there are other duties included here),  then you are entitled to at least FULL minimum wage.

Courtesy of GoComics


What if your Employer is violating the FLSA?

So now that you are knowledgeable about the tip credit system, what if you realize that your employer has been violating the FLSA?  What do you do?  First of all, you should contact an experienced attorney, such as Cohen Battisti, Attorneys at Law.

You may eligible to receive two times the amount of money owed to you, and you may not have to pay dime for it.  How?  Florida Statute 627.428 allows YOUR attorneys’ fees to be “shifted” to the other party.  If you prevail, THEY will have to pay YOUR attorneys’ fees!

What if this happened at an old job?

Don’t worry about it!  Under Florida law, you have four years to file a claim against a previous (or current) employer, but you have five years to file a claim if you know that employer was violating the FLSA willingly.

If this has happened to you, then don’t wait.  Act now!  Cohen Battisti, Attorneys at Law are always here for you.  Give us a call today at 407-478-4878, or go to  All initial consultations are free and confidential.  Remember: “It’s About Justice!”

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