[i] CA Labor Code § 350 (2017) As used in this article, unless the context indicates otherwise:
(a) “Employer” means every person engaged in any business or enterprise in this state that has one or more persons in service under any appointment, contract of hire, or apprenticeship, express or implied, oral or written, irrespective of whether the person is the owner of the business or is operating on a concessionaire or other basis.
(b) “Employee” means every person, including aliens and minors, rendering actual service in any business for an employer, whether gratuitously or for wages or pay, whether the wages or pay are measured by the standard of time, piece, task, commission, or other method of calculation, and whether the service is rendered on a commission, concessionaire, or other basis.
(c) “Employing” includes hiring, or in any way contracting for, the services of an employee.
(d) “Agent” means every person other than the employer having the authority to hire or discharge any employee or supervise, direct, or control the acts of employees.
(e) “Gratuity” includes any tip, gratuity, money, or part thereof that has been paid or given to or left for an employee by a patron of a business over and above the actual amount due the business for services rendered or for goods, food, drink, or articles sold or served to the patron. Any amounts paid directly by a patron to a dancer employed by an employer subject to Industrial Welfare Commission Order No. 5 or 10 shall be deemed a gratuity.
(f) “Business” means any business establishment or enterprise, regardless of where conducted.
[ii] Labor Code, § 351 No employer or agent shall collect, take, or receive any gratuity or a part thereof that is paid, given to, or left for an employee by a patron, or deduct any amount from wages due an employee on account of a gratuity, or require an employee to credit the amount, or any part thereof, of a gratuity against and as a part of the wages due the employee from the employer. Every gratuity is hereby declared to be the sole property of the employee or employees to whom it was paid, given, or left for. An employer that permits patrons to pay gratuities by credit card shall pay the employees the full amount of the gratuity that the patron indicated on the credit card slip, without any deductions for any credit card payment processing fees or costs that may be charged to the employer by the credit card company. Payment of gratuities made by patrons using credit cards shall be made to the employees not later than the next regular payday following the date the patron authorized the credit card payment.
[iii] Budrow v. Dave & Buster’s of California, Inc. (2009) 171 Cal.App.4th 875, 879 [“There are only two conditions created by section 351: the person must be an employee and the tip must have been ‘paid, given or left for’ the employee.”].
[iv] Leighton v. Old Heidelberg, Ltd. (1990) 219 Cal.App.3d 1062, 1068 [“We reject plaintiff’s contention that employer-mandated tip pooling constitutes a prohibited ‘taking’ by the employer within the meaning of section 351.”].
[v] Etheridge v. Reins Internat. California, Inc. (2009) 172 Cal.App.4th 908, 926 [“While [the employee] has not alleged a factual basis for a cause of action for an unfair or inequitable tip pool, it is my view that such a cause of action may be asserted in a proper case. That a tip pool, in order to be valid under Labor Code section 351, must be fair and equitable is, in my view, mandated by the rationale of Leighton. When that court concluded that the tips belong to all employees providing service to a patron, it stated that the tip was ‘to be equitably distributed between them.’ (Leighton v. Old Heidelberg, Ltd. (1990) 219 Cal.App.3d 1062, 1070.)”].)