What the act says

Minimum wage rate 

Effective May 1, 2019, the minimum wage rate for employees receiving tips is $10.05 an hour.

Employees receiving tips

An employee receiving tips generally receives tips or gratuities and works:

  • in a restaurant, except for fast food establishments
  • for an enterprise that sells, delivers or serves meals for consumption outside the establishment
  • on premises where alcoholic beverages are sold for consumption on site
  • in an establishment that offers in return for remuneration accommodations for tourists, including a camping establishment.

WAGE DISPARITIES BASED ON EMPLOYMENT STATUS

An employer may not pay a wage rate lower than the one granted to his other employees who perform the same work in the same establishment, solely because of the employee's employment status, and in particular because the employee works fewer hours each week.

TIPS

Tips are made up of the sums that customers voluntarily give to the employee and service charges added to the customer’s bill. Tips that are paid directly or indirectly by a customer belong entirely to the employee who provided the service. Tips must not be confused with the wages that are otherwise owing to the employee.

  • The employer must always pay the employee at least the minimum wage provided for in the Act.

An employer who collects tips must remit them in full to the employee who provided the service. The employer may not decide to keep a portion of the tips or to remit them, in whole or in part, to other employees who do not perform the service. Tips include the service charges billed to the customer, but not the administration charges added to them.

TIP-SHARING ARRANGEMENT

Employees entitled to tips may participate in a tip-sharing arrangement with their co-workers. This arrangement, whether oral or in writing, must result from the free and voluntary consent of the employees who are entitled to the tips. The employer cannot impose such an arrangement on his establishment's employees or intervene in the establishment of a tip-sharing arrangement.

Employees who participate in a tip-sharing arrangement may ask their employer to manage the application of the arrangement and to distribute the tips among all of the participants.

Tip-sharing may become a hiring condition when a tip-sharing arrangement already exists among the employees who are entitled to tips. The employer then may inform any new staff member of the tip-sharing rules in force in the establishment. An employee who accepts these conditions will be bound by his acceptance. The tip-sharing rules are not immutable. However, the employees receiving tips are the only persons authorized to amend these rules and manage the procedure. The CNESST may not claim sums redistributed under a tip-sharing arrangement for an employee who wanted to withdraw from such an arrangement. The CNESST also is not empowered to take legal action against an employee who does not meet his obligations towards the other employees bound by the tip-sharing arrangement.

FEES ASSOCIATED WITH THE USE OF A CREDIT CARD

An employer cannot require that an employee receiving tips pay the fees associated with the use of a credit card.

SPECIAL CLOTHING

An employee cannot receive less than the minimum rate because the expenses for the purchase, use or upkeep of special clothing used for his work have been deducted from his wages. In all cases, an employer who requires the wearing of special clothing must provide this clothing free of charge to an employee paid at the minimum wage. An employer who requires that his employees wear special clothing that identifies them as employees of his undertaking (example: jacket with a logo) must provide it free of charge to all employees.

In the case of an employee receiving tips, his wages must be increased by the reported tips for the calculation of the minimum wage established by this standard.

Example

An employee receiving tips paid at the minimum wage who worked 40 hours and received $120 in tips for a given week receives an hourly wage of $12.80 for that week. As a result, the employer cannot deduct from this employee’s wages more than $3.00 an hour for special clothing.

How to calculate the indemnity

The Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail provides employers and employees with access to monCalcul, a tool designed to help calculate the amounts to which an employee is entitled according to the type of compensation in effect.

Frequently asked question

  1. Can an employer keep a percentage of his employees’ tips?
    No. These amounts belong exclusively to the employee who served the customers. When it is the employer who collects the tips, he is required to remit them in full to the employee assigned to serving the customers. He cannot decide to keep a portion or remit the portion, in whole or in part, to other employees not assigned to serving the customers.