'Wage Theft': Business Denying Tips to Workers That Are Late Sparks Outrage

A business went viral for "stealing" employees' wages and lunch breaks, after an employee shared a picture of a sign saying "Late NO tips."

In a Reddit post shared on Wednesday, the employee, who goes by the username u/Admirable_Fig_2136 asked the u/antiwork subreddit if the new policy, which included no tips if you're late to work, no tips for three shifts if you are 10 minutes late and no tips for another three shifts if you're late on any of those days, was legal.

The picture featured in the post, which has so far had over 11k likes and almost 1000 comments, also showed another policy that if employees worked more than five hours on those shifts, they would get 15 minutes deducted from their lunch breaks.

According to statistics by Zippia, there are about 2,298,844 waiters/waitresses in the U.S. and their average income is $22,420 for males and $21,583 for females.

The research also shows that 39 percent of them stay at their job for less than a year, and only 10 percent of them stay at the job for longer than five years.

The community didn't hesitate to take the employee's back. One user, Adimwit, said: "Federal law says this is illegal. Regardless of what state you're in. FLSA says it's illegal to withhold tips under any circumstances. All tips have to be paid out to employees."

He also shared a link to the law, and advised the original poster to report the business and get them fined.

waiters holding trays
A restaurant went viral for a new policy denying waitress/waiters tips if they're late to work. A stock image shows two waiters holding plates. Getty Images

"Also note that tips are for employees exclusively. Not for managers or supervisors. So if they split up tips and pay it out to managers as well, it's illegal," Adimwit added.

Another user, Ironicmirror, urged the restaurant worker to call the labor commission: "Give these guys a call… ask them." Shelballama, said: "Please do. Just saw they take 15 min away for the lunch break and you don't even get one. Nope. Call them today. Mention the tip theft and the lunch break theft. Depending on your state, if they don't provide a completely off work 30 min lunch break after 6 hours, they could be in some serious shit. If I were you I'd push this and get any tips/ "15 min lunch break" money all returned. And maybe some extra."

In an update Admirable_Fig_2136 shared some good news: "Just spoke with the labor commission. I was told that it is legal only if all employees were informed of the disciplinary action prior to its implementation and signed giving written consent. I will now be hunting through my contract of when I signed on for confirmation that it is not there, [because] this was added as a policy after I was employed. Looks like I have a case after all!"

Most users were please by the latest developments and encouraged the original poster to go further with his case. Shelballama said: "GASP GO GET IT. DO US PROUD." Qinjax said: "The fact that it even has a chance to be legal is f***ing disgusting." And CritiqueG33k added: "Get em."

Newsweek has reached out to u/Admirable_Fig_2136 for comment.