Tip Pooling Laws and Your Restaurant

March 27, 2018

You’ve probably heard us talk about changes to Tip Pooling recently. The Federal government repealed the regulation that restricted sharing tips among front of house and back of house employees. There are a few things you need to know if you decide to institute a legal Tip Pool for your establishment.

First, you must pay all employees at least the full Colorado minimum wage and not the tipped minimum wage


Second, you must not include managers, supervisors, or owners in the tip pool


Third, you must post a printed sign in a conspicuous location informing the general public that the restaurant shares tips among the employees.

Colorado law states that the publicly displayed sign must be 12 x 15 inches, with letters 1/2 inch tall and must use the following language:  ALL PRESENTS, TIPS, OR GRATUITIES GIVEN BY ANY PATRON OF SAID BUSINESS TO AN EMPLOYEE THEREOF ARE NOT THE PROPERTY OF SAID EMPLOYEE BUT BELONG TO THE EMPLOYER. On our sample sign, we added some language to more fully explain the intent behind the sign. This language is optional: AT THIS ESTABLISHMENT WE DISTRIBUTE PRESENTS, TIPS AND GRATUITIES EVENLY AMONG ALL OF THE EMPLOYEES WHO HELP PROVIDE YOU WITH A GREAT DINING EXPERIENCE!

(NOTE: While this language stating that tips BELONG TO THE EMPLOYER conflicts with the Federal law stating tips belong to the employee, the sign is still required under the current Colorado law. We are working with the State of Colorado to get this fixed.)

We recommend that you contact our office if you currently have or are considering a tip pool to help you navigate the legal nuances of how to run it properly. Please contact Nick Hoover at the CRA so he can answer your questions or connect you with legal help if needed.


Steps to Improve Sleep and Worker Safety

March 9, 2018

It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee. Sleep deprivation is a problem in America — at a cost to employees and employers. Here are the facts:

The good news is there are helpful, time-tested tips for employers and employees.


Tips for employers

  • Evaluate and reconsider workloads, hours, understaffing and worker absences — scheduled and unscheduled.
  • Set work schedules to permit rest breaks and nighttime sleep.
  • Adjust the lighting, temperature and worksite surroundings to keep your workers alert.
  • Educate and train your employees on sleep deprivation, effects on wellness and the workplace, tips for better sleep (see below), and the benefits of diet and exercise.
  • Develop worksite wellness program that improves population health and reduces health risks.
  • Consider a fatigue risk management plan for your organization (see Resources).


Tips for employees

  • Get seven to nine hours of sleep every day.
  • Follow a sleep routine. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
  • Eliminate unnecessary light.
  • Don’t eat right before bed.
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine and stimulants.
  • Don’t watch TV or use electronic devices at bedtime.


Additional resources
Additional workplace resources and educational content are available from OSHA, the National Safety Council and the National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project. And contact us at Safety On Call at safetyoncall@pinnacol.com or 303.361-4700 or 888-501-4752. Our Safety Services team is here to answer questions, provide materials and help your organization maintain a well-rested workforce for a safer, healthier and more productive workplace.