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  1. #1
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    Default Can an Employer Withhold Cash Tips As Leverage

    My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: Florida

    I am a massage therapist in Florida. My spa has instituted a policy of withholding cash tips past the end of our shifts until a front desk person can "inspect" the rooms to make sure they are cleaned and stocked. Can my employer legally require me to stay past the end of a shift for this reason in order to receive my tips? If I choose to leave and collect my tips on my next shift, can they legally withhold my tips from the previous work day until the end of that next shift?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Can an Employer Withhold Cash Tips As Leverage

    Are you an employee or are you an independent contractor? If you are an employee, are you on the clock until you're done cleaning and stocking the room? If you're an independent contractor, what (if anything) does your contract state about tips and when they will be paid to you?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Can an Employer Withhold Cash Tips As Leverage

    I am an employee. We are on the clock until we punch out. Cleaning and stocking are supposed to be done before leaving. As a few people were not doing so, this new policy was instituted. Since the front desk staff's primary responsibility is checking clients in and out, it may be 20-30 minutes before one of them is free to begin the "inspection". A number of us have time-dependent responsibilities outside of this spa, such as other jobs and children to pick up.

    And if it is legal for them to withhold it that day, is it also legal for them to withhold it the following day? For example, I left today after the end of my shift before they checked my room, so I left without my tips. My next scheduled work day is Sunday from 10AM-6PM. Can I rightfully claim my tips in the morning or do they have the legal right to require that I wait until the end of the shift and then keep me waiting while they check the room before I receive my tips from today?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Can an Employer Withhold Cash Tips As Leverage

    I am unaware of any law, particularly in Florida (which is a very employer-friendly state) which requires that you be given your cash tips on a daily basis.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Can an Employer Withhold Cash Tips As Leverage

    How long can they legally hold them for? We are paid commission + credit card tips by check every 2 weeks.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Can an Employer Withhold Cash Tips As Leverage

    If you are paid every two weeks, then as far as I know they can hold them two weeks. As long as you get them with the paycheck for that pay period, they're good.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Can an Employer Withhold Cash Tips As Leverage

    Quote Quoting trang
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    ...it may be 20-30 minutes before one of them is free to begin the "inspection"
    With a 20-30 minute wait being well beyond de minimis, and there being no way for the employee to avoid the wait, the employer needs to either find a way to make prompt inspections or keep the employees on the clock while they wait for the inspection. Generally speaking, under the FLSA, waits of longer than ten minutes are not likely to be regarded as de minimis, and California tends to be even more protective of employees under its own state laws.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Can an Employer Withhold Cash Tips As Leverage

    True enough.

    However, the poster is in Florida, which is very employer friendly. I do not disagree that the employee should be paid for the waiting time, but I think he may have a difficult time getting it.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Can an Employer Withhold Cash Tips As Leverage

    For some reason I had California on my mind, but although Florida has much less concern for workers the amount remains excessive under federal law. If the employees choose, they can file a wage complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Can an Employer Withhold Cash Tips As Leverage

    ...where they will be limited to Federal minimum wage. They might want to consider small claims court as an alternate course of action.

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