Great question! There are quite a few rules that an employer wishing to take advantage of this wage payment scheme must follow. Read more here.
To begin with, your employer must ensure that you are making at least the minimum wage each week. This means that your hourly wages plus any tips you make, added together and divided by the number of hours you worked, equals at least $9.15 per hour. Under Connecticut law, the employer is required to complete a worksheet each week to ensure this.
Second, your employer may not take your tips or distribute them to certain other employees. Your employer may require a “tip pool” that spreads tips among other tipped employees (such as bussers and bartenders), but may not redistribute your tips to managers or hostesses, for example.
Third, your employer must make sure that you understand the tip credit arrangement and exactly where your money is coming from and where it is going.
Finally, your employer may not take the tip credit if you are spending a significant amount of time doing work that is NOT service work, e.g., filling ketchup bottles and rolling silverware. This is not the type of work that allows tipped employees to earn tips- who ever heard of a fork leaving a tip. Instead, it takes away from the time that the tipped employee can spend providing customer service. Further, it is not fair for an employer to occupy an employee at less than $5 per hour doing these tasks if there is no opportunity to make up the difference.