Massachusetts Tips Act not violated by franchisee no-tipping policy

A no-tipping policy implemented by a restaurant franchisee did not violate the Massachusetts Tips Act. However, on questions reported to the state high court in response to a suit by employees who challenged the employer’s practice of placing tips in the cash register or in an “abandoned change” cup, it was determined that the employer would violate the Act if it failed to clearly communicate to customers the no-tipping policy and then retained tips left by customers. On the other hand, if the employer clearly communicates the no-tipping policy, and customers nonetheless leave tips, the employer may lawfully retain the tips. (Meshna v Scrivanos, Mass. Sup. Jud Ct., 165 LC ¶61,581.)

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