charging the server to use credit cards?

i have waited tables at several restaraunts working my way through college now. never before until tonight have i noticed at a small fee (about 2% of the sale) is being taken out of my tip for each credit card transaction.

now i’ve heard of the store being charged per credit card use, but i’ve never seen it charged to the server.

is this a common practice of most restaraunts? is it even legal to do it?

granted it only amounts to a small amount of money, but that’s money that i earned and i don’t like the idea of paying the fees for them.

I must say, that’s a new one on me. I was a waiter years back, and this was definitely not standard practice then, at least. If not illegal, I’d certainly call it shady. Credit card companies charge vendors 2% - 3% per transaction; making the servers pay for this seems fundamentally wrong, somehow.

most places i’ve worked have been big corporate chains and the cost to them is no big deal. the last two places however have been locally owned by chinese people. i have noticed several shady things that go on in both places to cut costs (servers being paid in cash, forms of indetured servitude, reusing decorations… just a warning to be weary of where you eat). it still doesn’t seem legal to deflect the responsibilities of the costs onto the server.

It may not be. Try searching on the web for labor laws pertaining to your state, and also search Federal labor law as well. I’ll poke around for pertinent Federal law as well.

You may be able to call merchent services (might be a little sticker on the side of the CC machine with the number) and ask them. They do disallow a lot of things like that. For example, a merchent is NOT allowed to have a minimum purchase to use a CC. That is to say, if I want to charge a 2 cent tootsie roll, I can, and they’re not allowed to say different.

It may be that the owner is trying to withhold for taxes. In higher dollar restaurants that have most checks paid for by Credit Card, it may be simpler for the owner to deduct from the Credit Card Tips rather than estimate the amount and deduct the withhold from the “Base Pay”.

But I would ask the boss