The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) has released the final version of the tips, gratuities, and service charges policy. You can find it on the Workplace Rights/Employment Standards Administrative Policies webpage. This policy includes updates based on feedback received on two draft versions last fall.
I-1433 created new requirements in the Washington Minimum Wage Act (RCW 49.46.020(3)) for employers to pay tips, gratuities, and service charges to their employees. During the rulemaking process for I-1433, L&I committed to developing administrative policies like this one and providing opportunities for input. These policies are intended to help employers understand how to interpret and apply the law.
The final policy language defines tips, tip pools and service charges and outlines requirements for payment to workers. The policy also adds the requirement that facilities that add a mandatory tip or service charge disclose to their customers the amount of the charge that will be shared with the worker, if any. This information must be presented in a restaurant menu and/or on an invoice or receipt.
Examples of appropriate disclosure statements:
- A service charge of ___% / $___ will be added to your bill. ___% of this service charge is paid to the employee or employees who served you today.
- A service charge of ___% / $___ will be added to your bill. 100% of this service charge is retained by [Business Name].
- A mandatory gratuity of ___% / $___ will be added to your bill for parties of ___ or more. ___% of this service charge is paid to the employee or employees who served you today.
- A mandatory gratuity of ___% / $___ will be added to your bill. 100% of this mandatory gratuity is retained by [Business Name].
Photo by Alan Light on Foter.com / CC BY
Today’s post comes from guest author Thomas Domer, from The Domer Law Firm.
I just returned from New Orleans where I made a presentation to about 150 workers’ compensation lawyers (both for workers and for employers) on “Case and Client Evaluation In Workers’ Compensation”.
Since many in the audience represented insurance companies and employers, I paid particular attention to their response to my presentation. As one would expect, their best chance to win a case on behalf of the employer and insurance carrier occurs when several items come into play:
- When there is no actual report of the injury. [Worker’s Tip: No matter how small the work injury, make sure it is reported in some fashion – cell phone, voice recording, or Accident Report and the worker keeps a copy (BEST).]
- Failure to report that a work injury occurred to the first treating practitioner (whether Emergency Room, employer-directed medical facility, hospital, or primary care physician). The single most difficult hurdle in a workers’ compensation claim involving a traumatic injury occurs when no report of the injury is found in the initial medical record.
- In “Occupational Exposure” cases, no discussion with the doctor about work duties or prior incidents. (In Wisconsin, a worker can recover for workers’ compensation in one of two ways:
- A traumatic injury where a single incident has caused the disability (lifting a box, falling, etc.)
- Occupational Exposure, where the wear and tear of a worker’s job causes the disability over time. In this latter category, workers routinely do not indicate with any kind of specificity the type of work they perform when they see the doctor.
These three tips can help us as workers’ compensation lawyers win claims, more so than any “Clarence Darrow” court room techniques or strategies.