The New York Department of Labor has issued new rules for gratuity after recent tipping lawsuits
have pushed the department into trying put a little legal definition around a previously 'customary' area of the restaurant bill. The new rules let employers decide how the staff will handle tips: whether tips are all pooled, whether bussers get tipped out, etcetera. But the new rules also prevent any business owners "skimming" tips and try to define just which restaurant workers are allowed to receive tips (most workers as long as they are not managers). The rules also say that any gratuity on the bill must actually be gratuity. Restaurants cannot post "20% added to parties of 6 or more" with giving the whole 20% collected to tips.