Service Charges/Gratuities

By Abigail Cahak and Noah Finkel

Seyfarth Synopsis: Even though the DOL abandoned its 20% tip credit rule in November 2018, one federal district judge has refused to defer to the agency, opting to defer to the old guidance instead.

As employers using the tip credit know full well, an individual employed in dual occupations–one tipped and one not–cannot be
Continue Reading A Zombie Tip Credit Rule: District Court Tries to Bring the 80/20 Guidance Back From the Dead

By Abigail Cahak and Noah Finkel

Seyfarth Synopsis: The DOL has reissued a long-awaited opinion letter withdrawing its previous 20% tip credit rule and making clear that “no limit is placed on the amount of [related but non-tipped] duties that may be performed,” so long as they are performed “contemporaneously with the duties involving direct service or for a reasonable
Continue Reading Check, Please!  DOL Issues Opinion Letter Ending Its 20% Tip Credit Rule

By Abigail Cahak and Noah Finkel

Seyfarth Synopsis: In an en banc decision, the Ninth Circuit reverses its prior panel opinion rejecting the DOL’s interpretation of FLSA regulations on use of the tip credit to pay regularly tipped employees, finding that the interpretation is consistent with the FLSA regulations.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals sitting en banc issued a
Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Issues En Banc Decision Upholding DOL’s 20% Tip Credit Rule; Ball is Now in DOL’s Court

Co-authored by Howard M. Wexler and Robert S. Whitman

Seyfarth Synopsis: Governor Andrew Cuomo has directed the Commissioner of Labor to schedule public hearings to address the possibility of eliminating the tip credit. A tip credit allows an employer to pay less than minimum wage to employees who receive the bulk of their pay in customer tips.

As we
Continue Reading NY Governor Signals “Tipping” Point Over Elimination of Minimum Wage Tip Credit

Co-authored by Noah Finkel and Cheryl Luce

Seyfarth Synopsis: On Monday, the DOL issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking announcing rescission of a rule that regulates tip pooling by employers who do not take the tip credit.

The DOL has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding the tip pooling regulations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The FLSA
Continue Reading Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division Proposes to Nix Unpopular Tip Pooling Rule

Co-authored by Abigail Cahak and Noah Finkel

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Ninth Circuit has created a circuit split by rejecting the DOL’s interpretation of FLSA regulations on use of the tip credit to pay regularly tipped employees, finding that the interpretation is both inconsistent with the regulation and attempts to create a de facto new regulation.

The Ninth Circuit Court of
Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Cooks Up Rejection of Servers’ Claims and Sends DOL’s 20% Tip Credit Rule Back to the Kitchen, Creating Circuit Split

Co-authored by Cheryl Luce and Noah Finkel

Seyfarth Synopsis:  An unpopular DOL regulation that prohibits employers from retaining customer tips received another blow this summer. The Tenth Circuit joined the Fourth Circuit and several district courts in holding that the FLSA does not require employers to turn over customers’ tips to employees so long as those employees are paid at
Continue Reading The Tenth Circuit Takes the DOL Tipping Rule Off the Menu

Authored by Noah Finkel and Cheryl A. Luce

Seyfarth Synopsis: New decision from Northern District of Georgia rejects the DOL’s interpretation of the FLSA tip credit law. Holds that the FLSA does not regulate tips received by employees who are paid at least minimum wage.

Imagine that you are a restaurateur. You employ servers and bartenders who receive tips,
Continue Reading Another Federal Court Thinks the DOL Is Out to Lunch On Tip Credit Rule

Authored by Gerald L. Maatman, Jr. and Jennifer A. Riley

Seyfarth Synopsis: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit served up some welcome relief for employers in Schaefer v. Walker Bros. Enterprises, in which the court rejected Plaintiff’s theory and affirmed a district court’s order granting summary judgment in favor of Defendants.

Many employers, particularly in the hospitality
Continue Reading Seventh Circuit Serves Up Employer-Friendly Recipe For Compensating Tipped Employees

Authored by Alex Passantino

All around the country, tipping practices have been coming under scrutiny.  Restaurants increasingly have abandoned their use of tip credit — and tipping — partially due to a belief that a higher wage not tied to the fluctuations of tipping is better for morale and operations, and partially due to the complexities of dealing with wage
Continue Reading Ninth Circuit “Tips” Away from Prior Decision, Finds Pooling Rules Applicable