The Land :: www.TheLandOnline.com

Nuts & Bolts

July 11, 2013

Why tipping is bad for everyone

(Continued)

The only real beneficiary of the preposterously complicated tip credit is lawyers. Imagine what it's like for a company running restaurants in multiple states. There's no tip credit in some states, like California and Washington, where tipped employees must be paid the full minimum wage. Hawaii allows the tip credit only if the combined tip and cash wage surpass the statewide minimum hourly wage by 50 cents. New York and Connecticut have different minimum wages for servers, hotel employees, and bartenders.

Then you have to consider time that employees spend on activities not likely to yield tips. Applebee's, for example, has suffered a series of legal setbacks in lawsuits brought by tipped employees seeking back pay for time spent cleaning toilets and washing glassware.

The laws regarding tip sharing and tip pooling, which occur in virtually every restaurant, are even more complicated. Federal law allows mandatory tip sharing, but only among employees who customarily receive either direct or indirect tips. That means servers, bussers, food runners and hosts and hostesses can be required to pool their tips with each other, but not with managers. Unfortunately, the line between service and management is fuzzy in many restaurants, and differences between state laws further complicate matters. A California judge ordered Starbucks to pay $105 million in 2008 for forcing 100,000 baristas to share tips with supervisors. Last week, the New York Court of Appeals reached the opposite conclusion, ruling that New York law allows the arrangement. Chili's has also lost a multimillion dollar judgment over tip sharing.

The entire mess is begging for some certainty and predictability. Restaurants need a clear set of rules to follow. Servers should have a steadier income stream. Hosts and bussers, who have relatively little interaction with customers, ought not to be involved in tipping at all. Customers need more clarity as well, instead of worrying at the end of a meal if the waiter, or your guests, approve of your 17 percent tip.

Text Only
Nuts & Bolts
  • Hospitals let patients schedule ER visits

    Three times within a week, 34-year-old Michael Granillo went to the emergency room at Northridge Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles because of intense back pain. Each time, Granillo, who didn't have insurance, stayed for less than an hour before leaving without being seen by a doctor.

    July 24, 2014

  • Almost half of America's obese youth don't know they're obese

    The good news is that after decades of furious growth, obesity rates finally seem to be leveling off in the U.S.. The bad news is that America's youth still appear to be dangerously unaware of the problem.

    July 24, 2014

  • An oncologist uses scorpion venom to locate cancer cells

    Olson, a pediatric oncologist and research scientist in Seattle, has developed a compound he calls Tumor Paint. When injected into a cancer patient, it seems to light up all the malignant cells so surgeons can easily locate and excise them.

    July 24, 2014

  • 130408_NT_BEA_good kids We're raising a generation of timid kids

    A week ago, a woman was charged with leaving her child in the car while she went into a store. Her 11-year-old child. This week, a woman was arrested for allowing her 9-year-old daughter to go to the park alone. Which raises just one question: America, what the heck is wrong with you?

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Your chocolate addiction is only going to get more expensive

    For nearly two years, cocoa prices have been on the rise. Finally, that's affecting the price you pay for a bar of chocolate - and there's reason to believe it's only the beginning.

    July 18, 2014

  • Afghanistan vet who ran to grenade gets Medal of Honor

    A former Marine Corps corporal who was severely wounded when he risked his life to shield a squad mate from a grenade blast in Afghanistan was awarded the nation's highest military decoration Thursday.

    June 20, 2014

  • May 2014 was the hottest may in recorded history

    According to new data released this week, May 2014 is officially the warmest May in recorded history.
    Both NASA and the Japan Meteorological Agency have tentatively ranked May at the top of historical measurements, though NASA's numbers are preliminary because crucial information is still missing from China.

    June 20, 2014

  • Nelly-elephant.jpg Bet the farm: 5 'psychic' animals predict soccer victories

    Need some guidance on whom to place your bets for this year's World Cup? Since Paul the Octopus achieved a prediction success rate of 85 percent in 2010, hosts of animal oracles around the world have sought attention as soccer sages. Here's a look at a few of them.

    June 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Is the FDA waging a war on artisanal cheese?

    Is the Food and Drug Administration waging a war on artisanal cheese?
    The answer depends on your perspective. But this much is certain: The agency's answer to New York regulators about using wooden boards to age cheese has caused an uproar in the domestic industry and raised questions about the status of imported cheeses that use the same process.

    June 12, 2014

  • Texting while driving is latest teen risk as smoking declines

    While smoking among American teens has fallen to a 22-year low, most adolescents admit to engaging in a new type of risky behavior: texting while driving.

    June 12, 2014

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
The Land's Twitter Feed