DC Restaurants Now Let You “Tip” Your Cooks With Booze. Should You?
In this 2017 Washingtonian article, DCWageLaw managing attorney Justin Zelikovitz discusses the trend of diners showing appreciation by buying rounds of drinks for kitchen staff, who aren’t legally allowed to partake in tips:
Justin Zelikovitz, an employment lawyer who specializes in wage disputes, says that the practice leaves him uneasy: “It’s a close call whether it constitutes an unlawful tip pool, and I think that would probably depend on the particular circumstances.”
If restaurants are serious about supporting the kitchen, Zelikovitz adds, he would rather see better wages or improved health care: “The answer is to care about that kind of stuff—not one-off, weird, kind of paternalistic foisting Scotch upon someone who may not want it.”