Mandatory Tip-Pooling by Casino Employees Upheld

By February 1, 2013Articles

In another victory for employers, the Court of Appeal in Avidor v. Sutter’s Place, Inc. (Sixth Appellate District 2013) upheld the validity of a written tip pooling agreement which required card dealers to share tips with other casino employees at the Bay 101cardroom in San Jose, California.

Card dealers were required to “drop” anywhere from $2.50 to $5.00 per hour into a tip pool that was distributed by management to floor persons, casino hosts, porters, card control employees and housekeeping personnel.

In keeping with other recently published decisions on this subject, including those involving coffee-shops and restaurants, the Court concluded that Labor Code Section 351 does not prohibit employer-required tip pooling arrangements, so long as no employer agent or member of management receives any compensation from the tip pool.

Before implementing, broadening or changing an existing tip-pooling policy, legal guidance is strongly advised to assure compliance with California law.

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