(Closed) Ethical question re: tips

posted 6 years ago in Career
  • poll: What should I do with my tips?
    Keep them : (23 votes)
    70 %
    "Donate" them to my employer : (7 votes)
    21 %
    Other : (3 votes)
    9 %
  • Post # 3
    Member
    963 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2011

    If people wanted to donate to the organization, they’d do that. When people hand you tips, they clearly intend to reward you for doing good work. IMO you are definitely entitled to keep them.

    Post # 4
    Member
    9824 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper

    I don’t think you’re trying to justify greed, but you’re totally trying to justify keeping the tip even knowing that it’s not cool within the description of your job.

    I guess in my own experience, if it feels wrong, it probably is. But it’s up to you whether or not you keep that money. It was given to you and it is yours to keep or give now.

    Post # 5
    Member
    2214 posts
    Buzzing bee

    I think that if it is the company’s policy that all tips are donated, and you knew that when you started/gave the tour, then you have to give it to the company. That being said, I think you earned the tips and it sucks that you can’t keep them.

    Post # 6
    Member
    200 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: July 2012

    While I think you *should* get to keep them, it sounds like you could be jeopardizing your job by doing so. I’d donate, and perhaps not accept tips in the future so people don’t mistakenly think they are rewarding you.

    Post # 7
    Member
    3885 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    If your agreement with your employer re: compensation was that you’d be paid $x (or were volunteering, or whatever) and that you’d donate your tips, the only honest thing to do is continue donating the tips, or go work somewhere that you’d be allowed to keep your tips.

    If you look at it in the scenario of a waitress who takes a job knowing that she’s expected to “tip out” a certain percentage to the bartender, busboy, food runner, etc, she’s basically being dishonest by under-reporting her tips. Even if she busted her butt to make those tips, she’s still agreed to tip out.  

    It sucks, but you agreed to it. You can’t change the rules when you get an extra generous tip.

    Post # 8
    Member
    963 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2011

    Sorry to post again. I’ve just been thinking about this and I really think it is so unethical of your employer to keep your tips. It may even be illegal. That doesn’t mean you have to officially protest the policy, but it does mean that if you get caught keeping tips, you may have some recourse.

    http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs15.htm

     

    Post # 9
    Member
    586 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    That sucks. To me if I tip someone I want them to have that money because I feel as though they earned it. If you are supposed to donate all money to your work place then I feel as though that is what you should do to keep from loosing your job.

    Could you talk to someone about it? Could you keep half and donate half so both you and your company are “winning” because you are good at your job?

    Post # 11
    Member
    2874 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: March 2013

    i do think people want to tip the individual

    I dont think they can actually require all tips go to the organisation so i thnk it the interest of open-ness id probably talk to my boss about it and say i wanted to keep them

    are you volunteering or getting paid

    Post # 12
    Member
    9824 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper

    @needadvice99:  When this policy was made known to you, that was your opportunity to either protest or quit. I’m not saying it’s necessarily fair, but I know if I didn’t agree with a company’s policy I wouldn’t take matters into my own hands by just not adhering to it.

    Post # 13
    Member
    13096 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: July 2010

    When I tip someone, it is because I want to show appreciation to them, not to their employer.

    But since you’ve previously agreed to donate the tips to your employer, I don’t know that you can justify no longer doing that.  Even though I think the policy sucks.

    Post # 14
    Member
    188 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    Yeaaaah, sorry, but IMO the right thing to do would be giving it up. You’ve complied with the comanies policy for two years and now, just because it is a larger amount of money you are tempted to keep it. It really doesn’t matter what the amount of the tip is, the policy stays the same! So I’m sorry to say, but this sounds like greed.

    If this large tip prompted you to reconsider if your company’s policy is fair, that makes perfect sense. BUT that doesn’t mean you can simply keep this tip. It means you have to bring this up with your supervisor. They may or may not agree with you and possibly even change the policy, but then the next question is would that be retroactive or not?

    Post # 15
    Member
    9053 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2010

    I work for a government agency where I’m frequently given thank you gifts, and have been offered monetary “tips” as well.  I’m specifically not allowed to accept any gratuities, but if they protest, protest, protest, or they’re sent semi anonymously or in the mail or something were expected to donate them to the food bank.  

    I would suggest in the future you say “I’m not allowed to accept tips, but if you like the work were doing here please donate to x at the front desk so we can continue our programming” and that will prevent you feeling like they’re taking “your” money. 

    Post # 16
    Member
    3885 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    I think a lot of the question, at least from a legal standpoint, is if you’re considered a “service” employee or an hourly/regular wage employee. If you’re making more than the minimum wage, then you’re likely not categorized as a “service” employee, meaning the tips are not expected to cover the gap between what you’re paying and minimum wage. If you were making less than minimum wage, then the tips are your compensation and the employer cannot take them (but they can make you tip out or participate in a tip pool).

    In some industries it’s common and expected that the tips go to the organization and not the employee, however this is usually with volunteers who get tipped, such as the Smithsonian volunteer tour guides who turn their tips over to whatever fund the Smithsonian is collecting for.

    So legally you’re in a grey area, where the tips are not part of the compensation legally due you, and while you really should have been told that you were expected to donate your tips prior to being hired, the fact that you were told early in your employment AND you agreed to abide by this means you’ve got to follow the rule for now.  

    You may want to consider, though, telling your manager that, in light of the hard work you put in and the generosity of the guests, you’d prefer to keep your tips from now going forward. 

    The topic ‘Ethical question re: tips’ is closed to new replies.

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