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    themisfitkitten's Avatar
    themisfitkitten Posts: 114, Reputation: 22
    Junior Member

    Sep 29, 2017, 08:41 PM
    Restaurant manager in PA on house tip split
    It's been awhile since I've been on this site and I hope everyone is doing great!

    Curious... in the state of Pennsylvania, I know of a front-of-house restaurant manager who puts herself on the house split and takes an equal share of tips with the servers. The restaurant is part of a place with other restaurants, family activities, shops, a hotel, spa, etc...

    It's assumed that the manager makes a manager's salary and that the payroll department is aware (as it's been going on for years), but unknown whether the owner/executives are aware and condone this. The manager does usually bartend and occasionally waits on tables, but the vast majority of the work is done by the wait staff who get paid server wage (about $3/hour), or she helps out the kitchen staff (usually expediting the food). The credit card tips are split by the computer and are put on paychecks instead of being cashed out at the end of the shift (though I doubt this has any relevance).

    Is this illegal, or just unfair to the wait staff? And what would be the likely consequences for the manager if this were reported to the state labor bureau... termination (or worse), simply changing it so the manager does not get tipped, or would this be turned over to the discretion of the executives?

    Also, would there be consequences for the person reporting it, if someone were to report the manager? Could it be reported anonymously to the labor board (since it would not be likely to be anonymous if reported to HR unless perhaps a letter was mailed with no return address)?


    (PS - Admins, if there is a better way to categorize this, please do so... I feel that this is unethical at the least, but it may be better placed in a labor law category.)
    dontknownuthin's Avatar
    dontknownuthin Posts: 2,910, Reputation: 751
    Ultra Member

    Sep 29, 2017, 11:14 PM
    I believe there was a similar case related to Starbucks where management was dipping into tips and the baristas sued successfully.
    smoothy's Avatar
    smoothy Posts: 25,495, Reputation: 2853
    Uber Member

    Sep 30, 2017, 12:25 PM
    You are an at will employee... even if you weren't.. there are ALWAYS consequences. And good luck proving anything, because they don't even need a reason to let you go. Its really not hard to figure out who the disgruntled person is in any place... even if you say nothing to anyone ( and the less you make the more willing someone is to rat you out for their own gain), facial expressions over time give you away.

    Second rule of life... never assume what the next guy does or doesn't get. Unless you are in a Union you can't assume what the next person makes unless they show you their paycheck. Assuming often ends up getting you in trouble.

    Yes you CAN complain...but in 38 years of working...never have I ever seen it end well for a complainer at any place I've ever worked. You are better off finding a new place to work if you have issues with the one you are at now. PARTICULARLY food service where employees are a dime a dozen and easily replaced and there is normally a high employee turnover rate anyway.

    This is what we call a lose - lose situation....and even in the remote case you win, you still lose in the long run.
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
    current pert

    Sep 30, 2017, 01:54 PM
    I doubt that this is covered under labor law, certainly not federal, and probably not state.
    So it's at the discretion of the owner.
    Never complain about something like this without several other employees.
    And don't do it unless you KNOW it for a fact.
    But getting a group effort going has its drawbacks too - one person often snitches.

    I had a job once in a small department. 'Everyone' was positive that something was going on with one person's payroll that turned out to be not true.
    themisfitkitten's Avatar
    themisfitkitten Posts: 114, Reputation: 22
    Junior Member

    Oct 1, 2017, 11:28 AM
    Thanks all, your answers are pretty much in line with what I expected (though I hadn't heard about the possible Starbucks case).

    After three summers on and off there, it's pretty much boiled down to "it is what it is" on my end but a newer employee has been very riled up over it and telling anyone who will listen that it's illegal, she needs to be fired, "we all need to go to corporate/labor board," etc... Aside from the tips thing, I think she's otherwise a decent manager and not a bad person to work with, plus "the devil you know..." so I'd just as soon not see her get terminated. Meh. I suppose I just wish there was more fairness for employees in general, but it's not like life in general is fair. :) Thanks again for the feedback.


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