Gratuities - Act Part 3, Section 30.3


Contents:

Summary
Text of Legislation
Policy Interpretation
Related Information


Summary

This section prohibits an employer from withholding tips unless the tips are redistributed in a tip pool. Employers may not share in tips unless they do similar work to the employees who receive the tips.


Text of Legislation

Gratuities

30.3  (1) An employer must not

(a) withhold gratuities from an employee,

(b) make a deduction from an employee's gratuities, or

(c) require an employee to return or give the employee's gratuities to the employer.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply if an employer is authorized or required under a law of British Columbia or Canada or by a court to withhold gratuities from an employee, make a deduction from an employee's gratuities or require an employee to return or give the employee's gratuities to the employer.

(3) Subsection (2) does not apply if the law or court requires the employer to remit the gratuities to a third party and the employer fails to do so.

(4) If an employer contravenes subsection (1), the amount withheld or deducted from the employee or required to be returned or given by the employee to the employer is a debt due to the employee and may be collected by the director in the same manner as wages.


Policy Interpretation

Subsection (1)

Although gratuities (tips) are not wages, the Act provides that employers cannot take them or withhold them from the employee who earned them. This includes tips that are paid by customers to the person who served them, or mandatory gratuities or service charges large groups are required to pay.

An employer cannot withhold tips from an employee they were left for, take a share of tips, or require the employee to give a portion of their tips to the employer.

Employers can require employees to pool their tips and share them with certain other employees (see section 30.4, redistribution of gratuities.)

Subsection (2)

An employer may withhold tips or make a deduction from tips if there is a court order in place such as a garnishment order or a family maintenance order.

Subsection (3)

An employer must remit any tips withheld in accordance with the law or court order that required the employer to make the deduction.

Subsection (4)

If an employer takes or withholds tips from an employee, they can be recovered by the Employment Standards Branch on behalf of the employee in the same way as wages are. Even though tips are wages (for the purpose of recovering them from an employer), employees are not entitled to vacation pay on tips.  

Example

Employers cannot deduct from a tip pool, or from tips to which the employer has access, such as those made through debit or credit cards. An employer may not charge an employee for costs such as a "dine-and-dash fund".

Employees covered by a collective agreement

Section 3 provides that parties to a collective agreement may not negotiate terms and conditions that do not meet or exceed the standards set out in section 30.3. Where there is a collective agreement, the enforcement of matters relating to section 30.3 is through the grievance procedure, not through the enforcement provisions of the Act.


Related Information

Related sections of the Act or Regulation

ESA