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June 20, 2023

Colorado Court of Appeals Rules Banquet Server is Not “Tipped Worker” Under Overtime Rules

The rights of tipped workers to pay and overtime are treated differently than most other workers.  For example, under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employers may pay a reduced amount as the minimum wage provided that the workers’ tips equal at least the difference between that amount and the federal minimum wage.
Home » News » Colorado Court of Appeals Rules Banquet Server is Not “Tipped Worker” Under Overtime Rules

Megan K. Mechak
Tue, 06/20/2023

The rights of tipped workers to pay and overtime are treated differently than most other workers.  For example, under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employers may pay a reduced amount as the minimum wage provided that the workers’ tips equal at least the difference between that amount and the federal minimum wage. In February 2019, a hotel banquet worker, Rowean Brennan, filed a complaint with the Colorado Department of Labor, alleging that his employer, the Broadmoor Hotel, charged customers a service charge and that he was not a tipped employee.

The Colorado Court of Appeals ruled last week that the banquet server was not a tipped worker, and therefore deserves overtime pay at the rate of one and one-half times the Colorado state minimum wage. According to the Court of Appeals, the Broadmoor Hotel’s set banquet service fee was not a “tip.” The Court adopted a hearing officer’s finding that, because the banquet service fee was not a voluntary act by a patron, it did not constitute a “tip.” Because Brennan was not a tipped worker, he was entitled to overtime pay.

If you believe your employer has improperly classified you as a tipped worker, or failed to properly pay you, contact MSE at info@mselaborlaw.com.

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