“Sidework” by Tipped Employees = Full Minimum Wage!

Employers typically are permitted to take a “tip-credit” for tipped employees. This allows employers to pay employees who receive tips to pay less than the federal or state mandated minimum wage. However, employers cannot take advantage of the tip credit for all work performed by tipped employees.

Employers frequently require restaurant servers to spend significant time performing “sidework” instead of waiting on customers. Examples of “sidework” include: rolling silverware; washing dishes, cooking and preparing food, cutting fruit, restocking condiments, and cleaning the restaurant. Federal courts have regularly held that when servers spend more than 20% of their time performing these tasks, they should be paid the full minimum wage of $7.25/hr. for this time and not the “tipped minimum wage” of $2.13/hr. As one court explained, “an employee who spends more than twenty percent of their hours performing non-tipped, related work, can be found to have ceased to be a tipped employee and become a dual-jobs employee such that they must be paid full minimum wage for hours spent performing those duties.” Williams v. Bob Evans Rests., LLC, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145852, at *33-34 (W.D. Pa. Aug. 13, 2020).

If you are a tipped employee who performs “sidework” 20% or more of your working time, contact SLG.

Shavitz Law Group is here to help. If you have questions about whether your employer is violating federal requirements, or if you have any other employment concerns, please do not hesitate to call us for a free consultation at (800) 616-4000, or visit us at www.shavitzlaw.com for a free, no obligation review of your circumstances and consultation regarding your rights.


Gregg Shavitz, Shavitz Law Group, 951 Yamato Rd Ste 285, Boca Raton, FL and 800 3rd Ave, Suite 2800, New York, NY. Lawyers licensed in states including FL, NY, NJ, and TX. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based on advertisements alone.

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