Rep. Antonio Introduces Tip Fairness Act
Bill would restore fair wages for restaurant employees

State Rep. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) Wednesday introduced and offered sponsor testimony on the Tip Fairness Act, House Bill 534, legislation prohibiting employers from requiring employees to participate in tip pools. Currently, restaurants throughout Ohio use this business practice, which takes a percentage of a server’s gross sales during a shift to ensure that other employees’ wages reach minimum wage.  

“This legislation would correct an injustice that wait staff face,” said Rep. Antonio. “We should grow our economy by offering sound business practices that respect workers rather than allow exploitive policies that would have workers picking up the tab for restaurant companies.”

Under this current business practice, a percentage of the gross sales of each check from the restaurant’s patrons is automatically taken to pay bartenders, hosts and bussers. If a server is not given a tip for their service, they automatically pay out-of-pocket that percentage from the gross sales of the customer’s bill to other employees, essentially requiring servers to pay to wait on tables. Tip pooling is also commonly used to provide less than minimum wage to employees. Tip pooling has allowed companies to change the hourly pay for bartenders, hosts and bussers that once made minimum wage along with tips. 

Ohio is silent with respect to tip pooling; therefore, many restaurants have taken advantage of the practice.

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