In 2003, a Massachusetts Superior Court ruled that a restaurant may require its wait staff to share tips with other employees in a tip pool without violating the Massachusetts Payment of Wages statute. At that time, it was one of only a handful of reported cases in the United States that had dealt with this issue.

Since then, there have been numerous cases involving various challenges to employer “tip-pooling” policies, particularly in Massachusetts and California, with wait staff and other restaurant employees claiming that such policies violate state wage and hour laws.

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