I'm a server and the business I work for is telling me to claim my tips based on a formula that occasionally makes me declare more tips than I make. How is this legal?
1 Answer from Attorneys
Its not. You should not have to end up paying taxes on earnings you didn't receive. You have the option of filing a complaint with the PA dept of Labor. Complaint forms are afvailable on line through the Dept's website.
Of course you have to weigh the consequences of bringing such a complaint with the practical effects it will have on your job. Your employer could retaliate by giving you bad shifts and maybe come up with a reason to terminate you. While such retalitation is illegal, it is hard to prove and time consuming.
On the other hand, your employer should not be doing what he is doing, and in a perfect world, I'd tell you to go after him. At its worst, your employer may be committing tax fraud. From talking to other people, your employer's conduct is typical of some, but not all, restaurant owner's. I have absolutely no basis to say this, but I would bet that some of tyhe people who work in the kitchen, especially dish washers, are may be undocumented workers and/or are receiving less than minimum wage. Just a guess.
You can certainly consult an attorney to help you bring a complaint, and it would help if other servers who are getting the same deal, would join with you.