As many of you are aware, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals gave Northwest restaurant owners much to cheer about early last year when it authorized Northwest restaurants to initiate mandatory tip pools including back-of-house employees who traditionally do not receive tips. A complete description of the Court's decision in Woody Woo and its immediate effects can be found in my blog post from last November.
Given the number of questions I've received recently from clients who've heard rumors about tip pooling becoming legal, I thought it time to update everyone. The short answer is (at least for now) that employers in Washington and Oregon may initiate mandatory tip pools under certain circumstances.
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Greg Duff founded and chairs Foster Garvey’s national Hospitality, Travel & Tourism group. His practice largely focuses on operations-oriented matters faced by hospitality industry members, including sales and marketing, distribution and e-commerce, procurement and technology. Greg also serves as counsel and legal advisor to many of the hospitality industry’s associations and trade groups, including AH&LA, HFTP and HSMAI.