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Ontario NDP to protect resto tips [General]
2012 Jun 12
An Ontario New Democratic Party private member intends to introduce legislation that would prohibit restaurant owners from taking a percentage of tips left by patrons for their waiters, servers and bartenders.
Since 2010, Ontario NDP Member of Provincial Parliament of Beaches-East York and Finance Critic Michael Prue has fought to protect tips for restaurant workers from the restaurant owners, which is known as the practice of “tip outs.”
The MPP is now urging the Ontario government to take action. Prue explained that most customers do not realize that a portion of the tips intended for wait staff could be taken by the restaurant owners. In some cases, according to Prue, bar and restaurant owners take the entire gratuity.
Waiters in the province do not earn the minimum wage and earn $8.90. The reason why waiters and servers do not earn the $10.25 minimum wage is because it is expected the tips would supplement the employees’ income.
“What we're opposed to is tip outs, where the owner or manager of a restaurant takes a percentage of the tips to supplement their own wages,” in an interview with the Canadian Press.
“We don't think that people who are giving tips know that the waiter or waitress who just provided great service has to give some of that away. For a manager to come along and take that tip, even a percentage of it, is totally wrong, because the tip was not intended for management. It's illegal in places like New York state, and it should be illegal here too.”
He noted that some restaurant owners demand a percentage of the total bill when no tip is left. If a customer spends $100 then a restaurant owner could ask the employee for $5.
At Queen’s Park, Ontario Labour Minister Linda Jeffrey told reporters it was permissible for owners to take a percentage of tips if it was agreed prior to the agreement of employment. She added that professional wait staff can always find work somewhere else if they do not concur with the owner’s requests.
“When you are a good server, it's a very competitive environment. You can go where you can get the best deal,” stated Jeffrey.
Prue is set to introduce the Protecting Employees' Tips Act, which is his second attempt at introducing this bill. An earlier bill similar died last year when the election was called. In March of last year, Prue was in an exchange with Mississauga MPP and Citizenship and Immigration Minister Charles Sousa during Question Period.
“Now we have an opportunity, in this minority parliament, to see to it that restaurant and bar owners and managers be banned from taking their employees' tip money,” added Prue. “We have a chance to finally give these workers the protection they so deserve.”
2012 Jun 12
New User 371
1. owners taking a cut of tips is a scam and is a practice that should not be tolerated.
"Waiters in the province do not earn the minimum wage and earn $8.90. The reason why waiters and servers do not earn the $10.25 minimum wage is because it is expected the tips would supplement the employees’ income."
2. a server's daily wage is, in some cases, 20% of what they make in a shift from gratuities. they also don't pay taxes on those tips... they do just fine.
2012 Jun 12
Two things ...
1. It isn't a scam if they agree to it. As it isn't illegal, they can certainly look elsewhere for work.
2. They certainly do pay taxes on those tips. If they don't, then they are breaking the law.
Don't get on a high horse and call down that the owners are breaking the law if the servers are as well.
2012 Jun 12
We should also be clear on different uses of the term 'tip out'. In most cases I'm familiar with it refers to a % of tips given to kitchen staff/ bus boys/ dishwashers etc. since their work plays a role in the service as well. I would hope that the practice of tipping out kitchen staff isn't jeopardized by a too-broad legislation meant to go after owners.
"Agree to give the owners part of your earnings, or you don't get a job" if not 'scam', then let's at least call it borderline coercion (yes, competitive job market, but a job is better than no job, sometimes people don't have a choice), or at least somewhat sleazy.
2012 Jun 13
I don't know of anyone that actually takes a percentage of 'tips' for the house.
I know it's done or some places charge the staff the percentage off of a credit card (either way it's despicable)
I think this is another case of a half truth being pushed around as fact; tip outs are as Hatman states are to the dishwashers, buspersons, Bartenders, hosts, etc that ALL are part of the reason for the 'tip'
I can assure you that most (if not all) servers claim tips & certainly do pay taxes on them.
2012 Jun 14
Yes Terry, but do they claim ALL their tips ? ... And how about the others that received tip-outs, do you know if (or think) they pay taxes on (all) their tip-outs ?
Were't they doing something in Quebec to reign in the undeclared tips in the service/restaurant business ?
Of all the wait staff I have talked to, none claimed ALL their tips.
2012 Jun 14
They also can't claim tips as income for mortgages, bank loans etc & recieve no EI or CPP benefits from the Province or Federal Gov't.
Do you know anyone that buys contraband cigarettes/Liquor or any work done under the table?
People cheat on thier taxes everyday, it's not just servers....