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Archive for Friday, October 30, 1998

SOUND OFF

October 30, 1998

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Are the allegations of Alan Hormell's letter in today's J-W (Oct. 29) regarding tips for waitresses and waiters true? Can you please run an article or find out?

Tips for waiters and waitresses are treated two different ways, according to federal labor and tax laws, said Lee Culpepper, vice president of federal relations with National Restaurant Assn. in Washington, D.C.

Under the labor law, "There is an obligation on the part of the employer to certify that the employee ... is making at least minimum wage," he said.

The minimum wage for waiters and waitresses is $2.13 in Kansas, Culpepper said.

Employers may count tips as part of servers' salaries.

"There has always been a tip credit" for employers, he said.

Under the tax law, Culpepper said, the federal government does not view tips as "a gift" but as a wage, and requires employers to pay income tax withholdings and payroll tax on tips that employees earn.

For more information, call the National Restaurant Assn. at (800) 424-5156.

Recently, David Wright was arrested for suspicion of driving while intoxicated. According to police reports, he had a stolen .44 Magnum tucked in his front waist band, he was driving while intoxicated, he had possession of drug paraphernalia and marijuana and he was carrying a concealed weapon, but no charges were filed. Why is that?

Douglas County District Atty. Christine Kenney Tonkovich said the case was referred back to police because all the reports hadn't been received yet. Wright, 23, Lawrence, was charged Wednesday in another case with two counts of aiding a felon, one count of possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell, one count each of felony and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia, and violation of Kansas drug tax stamp laws. A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Nov. 4.

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