German Competition Authority rules against Facebook: Is it the end of Facebook’s business model? On February 7, 2019, the Bundeskartellamt (German competition authority) decided to impose restrictions on Facebook regarding its processing of user data. The German competition authority criticized Facebook for collecting user data on non-Facebook platforms.
To tip your server or not? As nearly everyone tends to eat at a restaurant from time to time, tips are something that concern everybody, whether you are the one to give or to receive a tip. However, there are big differences in both countries when it comes to defining the legal nature of tips.
Tipping in Germany
In Germany, tips in the gastronomic sector are actually less of a social requirement than in other countries even if they are common and expected. Germany provides no statutory provisions to regular tips, which is a result of the Preisangabenverordnung (Price Statement Enactment, initially effective since 1970) that stated all labeled prices in Germany have to be final prices, including taxes etc. The common amount is about 10% of the check, but employees are not entitled to it, whether against the guest, nor the employer (apart from specific exceptional cases). As a result, tips are not part of the employee`s wage and consequently tax free, according to section 3 Nr. 51 EstG (German Personal Income Tax Law). However, the fact that there is no legal title to tips doesn’t change their importance for German
Tipping in the U.S.
Due to the fact that tips are part of an employee’s wage and property of the employee, tips generally need to be taxed. The Federal Fair Labor Standards Act also prohibits employers from becoming owner of the tips, but in many states, employees are free to agree into tip pooling or sharing arrangements, as long as those pools are limited to employees who customarily and regularly receive tips. However, requirements vary from state to state again and employers should always check with the state-specific regulations. In conclusion, the legal differences in both countries are remarkable, and employers -as well as employees- should always be aware of local laws and regulations and their legal consequences in order to avoid invalid arrangements and legal conflicts.