Costa Rica: new regulations governing the payment of tips

The Official Gazette, the official journal and publication of the government of Costa Rica, recently published the Ministry of Labor’s new regulations on the tipping laws, which regulate the payment of tips to restaurant waiters, waitresses, and busboys. Following are important regulations to bear in mind when implementing a tipping policy.

The new regulations establish that the full tip amounts should be delivered directly and made available to the waiting staff. In a practical sense, this would mean that the tips can no longer be shared among other employees, especially in cases where two or more employees are responsible for waiting on the tables. Accordingly, employers should avoid any tip-sharing schemes.

Further, restaurants are no longer allowed to make deductions from the waiters’ or busboys’ tips. Accordingly, any taxes on service (e.g., fee on the use of glassware) cannot affect the amount of tips that the waiters or busboys receive.

The new regulations also set forth the timing for the payment of tips, which in part will be contingent upon the payment method used by customers, as well as the obligation for employers to agree with their employees on a payment system to control any tips earned by each employee.

The government authorities, as well as waiters and busboys, may request a report on the employer’s compliance with the tipping law. Accordingly, restaurants should adopt all necessary measures to be in full compliance with these new requirements, which became effective on May 6, 2014, the date of the publication in the Gazette.

For questions concerning Costa Rica’s tipping law, please contact any Littler Global Costa Rica attorney.

The information on this page may have been provided by a contributor to ChinaGoAbroad, and ChinaGoAbroad makes no guarantees about the accuracy of any content. All content shall be used for informational purposes only. Contributors must obtain all necessary licenses and/or ownership rights from the relevant content owner(s) before submitting such content (including texts, pictures, photos and diagrams) to ChinaGoAbroad for publication. ChinaGoAbroad disclaims all liability arising from the publication of any content/information (such as texts, pictures, photos and diagrams that infringe on any copyright) received from contributors. Links may direct to third party sites out of the control of ChinaGoAbroad, and such links shall not be considered an endorsement by ChinaGoAbroad of any information contained on such third party sites. Please refer to our Disclaimer for more details.