Tip Pooling

Tip Pooling

The hospitality industry has faced a series of changes in tip pooling regulation due to the current state of the U.S. administrative branch and the federal courts. Tip pooling deadlines went from Dec. 5, 2016, then to Jan. 19, to March 17, to May 11, 2017, and beyond.

In May 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an order further extending the U.S. Department of Labor’s time to file its response to the National Restaurant Association’s certiorari petition. In the meantime, the stay of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit’s decision remains in force until either the Supreme Court denies our petition for certiorari or the Supreme Court’s ultimately resolves the case on its merits. This means the deadline to comply has been moved to July 10, 2017. 

Because the current federal regulatory environment is so fluid, the Washington Hospitality Association urges its members to continue to check back on our website for current information. We will keep you up-to-date with all the changes as they happen.

Tip pooling comes in two arrangements: employer-mandated tip pools and voluntary tip pools. Generally, employer-mandated tip pooling is not prohibited by federal law, but federal law places restrictions on such tip pools, and restaurant operators should be aware of recent developments affecting employer-mandated tip pools. You can read a more extensive history here.


See more resources on tip pooling.


Rev. 1/23/17

This article is an excerpt from the Handbook for Excellent Restaurant Operations (HERO), published by the Washington Hospitality Association.  Want a hard copy of the whole manual?  It’s one of the many benefits of becoming a member!  Find out more about joining the Washington Hospitality Association here.

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