The Tip Credit
Most waiters and bartenders are paid $2.13/hour, plus tips. As stated on the tip pool page, your employer is permitted to pay you as little as $2.13/hour – but only if they comply with the requirements of the tip pool laws. If they comply with these laws, then they are permitted to take a “tip credit” against their minimum wage obligations.
The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25/hour. If your employer complies with the tip pool laws and pays you $2.13/hour, they may claim a “tip credit” for the difference between the full statutory minimum wage ($7.25) and the wage you are paid ($2.13), or $5.12.
If they violate the tip pool laws, however, they will forfeit the tip credit and will owe you $5.12/hour for each and every hour that you worked in the last 2-3 years.
My employer pays me $2.13 an hour, or less than minimum wage. Is this legal?