Is tip pooling legal in Kentucky?

| Jan 18, 2021 | Uncategorized |

Many of those in the service industry in Kentucky rely on tips to supplement their income and make ends meet, especially these days. Tips are evidence of a job well done, and many in the service industry find them indispensable. Kentucky employers may try to get employees to pool their tips. However, is mandatory tip pooling legal?

The law on tip pooling

Under Kentucky law, employers cannot require workers to pool their tips, to distribute among all workers of the employer. However, workers can voluntarily agree to a tip pool among themselves. Employers may let employees know of the voluntary tip pool and the customary tipping arrangements of employees at the workplace. If asked by employees, employers may provide a place of safekeeping of pooled tips as long as the account is properly identified and kept separate from the employer’s other business records. This account must also be open to examination by those participating in the tip pool.

Tip pooling and wage and hour claims

If an employer tries to force a worker or workers into tip pooling, those workers may have a wage and hour claim. Employers also cannot keep some or all of an employee’s tips except for state and federal withholding requirements. In a perfect world, employers in Kentucky will follow the laws on tipping. Unfortunately, this does not always happen especially when employers choose to protect the company rather than protecting the rights of their workers. Workers in Louisville who have employment law concerns may find our firm’s website useful.