Employers can pay restaurant workers the "sub minimum wage" ($3.08 per hour in Maryland) because servers and waiters can make up the difference earning tips. Employers call this the "tip credit" against the minimum wage.
Employers may pool all tips and distribute them equitably to those employees who are in the business of providing service to the customers. This is called a tip pool.
But can the House keep any tips? Absolutely not. If the employer keeps the tips then it is not entitled to the tip credit. In such case the serves would have valid claims for the full minimum wage.
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