|Flickr: Agnieszka Mazus|
A recent court decision in California was a victory for the pro-pooling faction -- in this case, the Dave & Buster's chain. A waiter filed suit opposing the practice of bartenders being included in the tip pool. At most restaurants, servers voluntarily give their bar staff a percentage of their tips. I've been on both sides of that deal and it's typically pretty fair. A Los Angeles Court of Appeals ruled against the waiter.
Even worse than tip-pooling is the stingy restaurant owner -- you know who you are -- who demands that the servers tip out to practically everyone in the restaurant. I worked for a cheapskate who insisted the servers tip out to the bartender and busboy and the dishwasher. One night the dishwasher walked out of the joint with more money than I did!