Eleventh Circuit: Service Charges Are Wages, Not Tips, Under FLSA

On March 18, 2022, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Compere v. Nusret Miami, LLC, a collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), that Nusr-et Steakhouse properly used automatically charged fees on bills to pay its employees’ wages because the fees were service charges. The plaintiffs, a group of tipped employees, had argued these fees were not service charges but instead were tips. The distinction is critical because service charges and tips are treated very differently under federal laws and regulations.

DOL’s Dual Jobs Final Rule: Will It Be a Horror Show for Employers?

On October 28, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released a final rule that may cause many employers in the restaurant, hospitality, and service industries to rethink and/or end their use of tip credits under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Under the FLSA, an employer that meets certain requirements may count a limited amount of the tips its tipped employees receive as a credit toward its federal minimum wage obligation—a practice which is known as a “tip credit.”

DOL Cracks Down, and Opens Cracks, on Employers Keeping Tips

Employers will soon face stricter financial penalties for keeping their employees’ tips under a final rule published by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on September 24, 2021. Section 3(m)(2)(B) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) prohibits employers—including “managers and supervisors”—from keeping employees’ tips “for any purposes,” regardless of whether employers claim a tip credit.