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.