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Do California employers have a right to a share of your tips?

Any tips left for or given to you by a customer or client belong to you, not your employer. Under California wage and hour laws, you do not have to share the tips you earn with your boss.

If you work in an industry that earns you tips, it is in your best interests to learn more about the tipping laws in Southern California. Doing so ensures that you get every penny you deserve from serving others.

What else should you know about tips?

You might not know this, but the California labor code has an entire section devoted to tipping laws. Since you may count on tips as part of your income, knowing about these laws helps protect your earnings:

  • Employers may not deduct any portion of your tips from your regular paychecks.
  • Employers may not pay you less than minimum wage per hour because you earn tips.
  • Employers must provide employees with tips paid via credit cards by the next regular payday.
  • Employers may not deduct credit card processing fees from tips paid via credit cards.
  • Employers may not count your tips as income when calculating overtime wages.

Can employers make you share your tips with others? Your boss has the right, when appropriate, to request that you share your tips with coworkers like bussers and bartenders. However, you do not have to share them with the owner or the management.

In some situations, tips can double or even triple your income. It makes sense that you want to protect these earnings as you would your regular paycheck. If you believe your employer is illegally taking or withholding your tips, increasing your knowledge of state wage and hour laws can help you find a solution.

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