Skip to Content
Request Your Consultation 212-295-5828

Do I Need A Lawyer For A NYC Tip Theft Claim?


According to the U.S. Bureau Of Labor Statistics, in 2017, 161,720 individuals were employed as waiters and waitresses in New York alone, with nearly 18% of the population employed in these service positions. With that much of the state depending on tips for a large portion of their income, is it worth the risk to handle a tip violation on your own? The NYC tip theft lawyers of Brown Kwon & Lam explain.

NYC Tip Theft

Whether you are working doubles, a single shift, or split shifts, you expect that whatever tips you earn during your workday end up in your pocket. Unfortunately, that is not always what happens.

The most common forms of tip and wage theft include:

  • Tip skimming
  • Withholding service charges
  • Unpaid hours
  • Unpaid overtime

While sometimes a server may encounter a customer with poor tipping skills, sometimes the lack of tips at the end of a shift is a result of an employer practicing shady tip pooling and withholding practices.

While you and your coworkers may notice it here and there, it really becomes a problem when it happens time after time. In the first instance, your employer may claim it’s a mistake. But when it becomes a recurring theme, you need to take action.

Do I Need A Lawyer For a NYC Tip Theft Claim?

Your first move in a tip and wage theft claim is to tell your employer or supervisor that you have missing wages. In some cases, it may be an honest mistake or error in bookkeeping. But it’s important that you keep track of your own tips and wages to be able to compare with your pay stub. This is of particular importance if the issue persists.

Following the initial discussion, if tips are still missing, you need to ask other employees if they are seeing similar mistakes in their own pay. Chances are it’s not just you. Ask different members of the staff to see if it is happening to a specific group of employees.

If this is happening to more people, you need to work together to confront your employer. If no action is taken to remedy the situation, you need to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor, Wages, and Hour Division. From there, you most likely will need a lawyer for your NYC tip theft claim if no remedies have been made, or your boss is making the work environment hostile.

While you would like to believe the missing tips and wages are a simple mistake, it can be a larger form of industry neglect that you should not have to stand for.

NYC Tip Theft Claim: Brown Kwon & Lam

You work hard all day long to earn your wages. And when you depend on tips as a significant portion of your income, you should not be short-changed by your employer. If your employer is not paying your rightfully earned tips, you may have a lawsuit for unpaid wages. Contact Brown Kwon & Lam, LLP today for your NYC tip theft claim.