If you regularly receive more than $30 per month in tips, your employer doesn’t have to pay you the minimum wage under the
Fair Labor Standards Act.
An employer of a tipped employee is only required to pay $2.13 an hour in direct wages if that amount plus the tips received equals at least the federal minimum wage, the employee retains all tips and the employee customarily and regularly receives more than $30 a month in tips. If an employee’s tips combined with the employer’s direct wages of at least $2.13 an hour do not equal the federal minimum hourly wage, the employer must make up the difference. The basic rule of tips is that they belong to employees, not the employer. Employees cannot be forced to give their tips or any part of them to the company. Even when there is a tip pooling arrangement, the tip pool must be divided only among certain other employees, and the employer can’t be part of the pool. Nor are employees who normally do not receive tips (such as cooks, bussers, dishwashers) entitled to a portion of the tip pool.