Is a Service Charge a Tip?

MPBN radio reported on a bill before the legislature that would impact whether the server or employer is entitled to the money from the service charge.

If you’ve ever thrown a wedding banquet, a 50th birthday bash, any kind of prearranged function, you’ll see that a bill comes with an automatic service charge of 15 or 20 percent. Who should get the money? The employer or the servers? That debate has been the source of at least two lawsuits in Maine, and is now a question being raised in the state Legislature.

For additional coverage of this story see the Huffington Post and the Portland Daily Sun.

3 comments on “Is a Service Charge a Tip?

  1. Also check out “An Act To Amend the Laws Regarding Tips Used in Payment of Service Employees, ” a bill amendment brought by Sen. Brian Langley, owner of a lobster restaurant in Ellsworth, that would make tips to service staff the property of the business owner rather than the employee:

    The actual text of the amendment is at

    A Huffington Post article on the topic is at

  2. When you order a pizza/take out and they tack on a “Delivery Charge” it goes directly into the business owners pockets and the actually delivery driver never sees a dime of it. Pretty messed up

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