If you receive gratuities or tips for the work that you perform, your appearance, attitude and work ethic all play a major role in how much you earn on any given day. You make base wages, and your total income depends on how much each customer decides to tip you.
If you go above and beyond for the customers that you serve and you strive to build a long-term rapport with them, you could very easily bring home well over the standard 15% gratuity expected for providing restaurant service. Service jobs can be lucrative for those with the right skills and attitude.
Of course, not everyone who works at the same business will approach their job with the same attitude. There could easily be people working at the same business as you that earn significantly less per hour because their tips or gratuities are always lower than yours. Can your employer demand that you start pooling your tips to make it fair and effectively force you to subsidize coworkers with bad attitudes?
Kentucky does not allow mandatory tip pooling
Employers can ask staff members to participate in a tip pool, but state law does not permit them to insist upon such arrangements. Workers who earn an income dependent on their daily job performance deserve the full compensation provided for them by the customers that they serve.
If you consistently receive larger tips than your coworkers, your employer cannot force you to share those tips with others who perform the same job but receive less from their patrons because they do less for their patrons.
Misconduct toward tipped employees is common
Forced tip pooling is only one of many ways that Kentucky employers may take advantage of workers who earn gratuities on the job. If you have been subject to unfair employment practices that have deprived you of your wages, you may have grounds for a wage claim. Especially if there are multiple other co-workers who have experienced similar issues, you may be able to bring a compelling legal case and demand the wages or gratuities that you earned but did not receive as you should have.
Learning more about employment laws in Kentucky can help workers stand up for themselves on the job.