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Tipped Employees in New York

Employees who earn tips are paid differently.  New York’s wage and hour laws allow employers to deduct a “tip credit” from the typical hourly minimum wage for certain employees, as long as the employee earns a sufficient amount of tips during each shift.  The following are the minimum wages for workers who earn tips:

  • Food service worker (waiter, busboy)—$4.60 per hour minimum and overtime $8.18 per hour
  • Other tipped worker (restaurant delivery)—$4.85 per hour minimum and overtime $8.43 per hour
  • Any other industry, tipped worker (e.g., laundry delivery)—$5.40 per hour minimum and overtime $8.98 per hour

An employer is not entitled to a portion of an employee’s tips and may not require that tips be pooled or shared with non-service employees.  A restaurant owner may, however, share with non-service personnel a portion of the percentage service charge added to the bill for a banquet or other special function and may also retain a small portion of the service charge as a handling fee for the benefit of the restaurant.

Finally, employers may also deduct certain expenses from the minimum wage including the cost of meals and lodging provided to the employee.

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