Labor Code section 351

An issue that constantly plagues the service industry is what to do about tips and the challenges that come with mandated tip pooling and mandatory service charges. We still routinely counsel restaurant clients on the intricacies regarding tips, mandatory tip pools, and service charges. This simple concept, which should be relatively easy, becomes complex under

By Pooja Patel and Anthony Zaller

An issue that constantly plagues the service industry is what to do about tips and the challenges that come with mandated tip pooling and mandatory service charges. This week’s post is an update and a general discussion about tipping and mandatory service charges. This simple concept is surprisingly complex

In O’Grady v. Merchant Exchange Productions, Inc., the California Court of Appeals held that a mandatory service charge could potentially be found to be a gratuity that must be distributed to service employees.  The issue in the case is whether a “service charge” can be a “gratuity” that Labor Code section 351 requires to

Plaintiff Jacob Davis brought a putative class action against International Coffee and Tea, LLC (the company that operates Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf) alleging that the company’s tip pooling policy violated California’s Labor Code section 351.  The trial court sustained Coffee Bean’s demurrer to plaintiff’s second amended complaint without leave to amend.  Plaintiff appealed the

In a huge development in the last couple of weeks, a change in federal law now permits California employers to include back of the house employees in tip pools.  This week’s post is an update and a general discussion about issues facing restaurants, hotels, and other industries where tipping and gratuities are left for

This week, a federal court in northern California certified portions of a class action Picture - driverbrought by Uber drivers who worked in California since 2009 (click here for the decision [PDF]).  Over 160,000 drivers have worked for Uber in California during this time period, and while the case is making a lot of news,

Today’s Friday’s Five provides a few points for employers to consider who have employees that receive gratuities. California law is very specific regarding gratuities left for employees, and since tips are property of the employee, employers must approach this area with caution. Here are five “tips” about tips in California.

1. Tips are employee’s property.