Tips for Good Service May Hinder Employer Wage Policies
As reported in USA Today, "The Supreme Court will allow bartenders and servers who make part of their money from tips to file lawsuits for more money when they do work that doesn't involve tips."
Currently, restaurants are allowed to consider tips as part of employee salary in avoidance of having to pay a full minimum wage. The concern regarding server tips is whether good service should be something a consumer should have to reward, or whether restaurants and other service-oriented markets should be required to ensure that those they hire are accurately accounted for when formulating a business plan.
Tips are awarded as part of the experience. However, more than 5,500 current and former restaurant servers and bartenders have sued their employer in protest of some of the work they have committed to perform, even if understood as being part of the position they've been hired to do. The complaint suggests that the time spent on work which is part of the consumer experience, but not relevant to any one individual consumer, ie, opening and closing the restaurant, cleaning and stocking, anything that does not involve extra incentive on a consumer level, should require additional employer compensation.
The courts agreed...
... and now the controversy over whether servers should be paid according to a business idea of customer satisfaction with the quality of the experience as being deliverable, hireable and included as part of the experience, or whether it's just recommended and encouraged by consumer gratuitous contribution.