Why Does Publix Not Allow Tips

In the United States, most people equate excellent service with tipping. This is especially common in the restaurant industry. You may be surprised when you’re in a store like Publix, and your tip gets rejected by the employee. You start to consider this: Why does Publix not allow tips?

Retail stores, like Publix, do not have positions where employees can accept tips. Accepting tips can be against store policy and lead to employees getting fired. Plus, tipping, in this instance, is not allowed by the government, and if an employee accepts a tip, it would have to be declared and taxed.

This also helps the customer, who will not feel pressured to tip. 

Tipping is always a complicated conversation, but read this article to learn more about why retail employees can’t accept tips. Plus, I’ll give you some ways that you can thank employees for excellent service without money – even though money is the best gift in this case!

5 Reasons Why Publix Doesn’t Allow Tips

Employees don’t reject tips because they aren’t grateful; in most cases, they are not allowed to accept tips for various reasons.

It Is Against The Rules

Many stores have policies that state that employees cannot accept tips.

When it comes down to it, employees must follow store rules and policies, even if they do not agree with all of them.

One of those rules can be that employees cannot accept tips, however small they may be. 

An Employee Can Be Fired For Taking Tips

Since it can be against policy to take tips, an employee can be fired for accepting tips for a customer.

No, an associate isn’t rude by telling you they do not want your tip. In some cases, the employee is trying to save their job.

If a store manager finds out that an employee has been taking tips, it can cost the employee their job. A dollar here or there may not be grounds for dismissal, but it can be if the employee takes multiple tips. 

Customers Won’t Feel Pressured To Tip

Sometimes, saying that tipping is not allowed is a way to make sure customers don’t feel pressured to tip.

In a restaurant, customers are expected to tip their servers, but the same is not valid for grocery or retail stores.

If a store creates an environment where tips are allowed, some customers may feel like they need to tip, even if it is unnecessary.

The Government Doesn’t Allow It 

The government does not allow tipping in retail stores.

You may not know this if you’ve never worked a job that allows tips, but there are two categories of jobs: one that allows tipping and one that does not.

Servers, like those in restaurants, have a job classification that allows tips. Someone who works in a grocery store – like stockers and cashiers – does not have that classification, so they should not be accepting tips.

We’ll talk about why that is next – and trust me; it’ll make complete sense. 

Tips Would Be Declared And Taxed

People with jobs that accept have to declare their tips to their employer because those tips are taxable income. 

The government and employers do not want employees to accept tips that they would not be claimed for taxes.

Most tips received in stores like Publix are uncommon and may only amount to a few dollars over the employee’s lifetime. It isn’t worth it to get taxed, but if tips make up a substantial portion of someone’s income, they should be taxed.

Tip AmountTaxable?
Less than $20/monthNo
More than $20/monthYes

3 Ways To Thank An Employee

You don’t have to use tips to thank an employee for their service in stores like Publix. There are other ways to do this too.

Make The Employee’s Job Easier

You can make the employee’s job easier if you think they are doing well.

No, that doesn’t mean that you need to do their job for them, but consider some of these things that you can do:

  • Have your payment ready at checkout
  • Have all your items ready to be scanned
  • Return your carts to the correct place
  • Put items that you do not want back in their place

As someone who used to work in retail for years, I can say that we greatly appreciate these little things!

Give A Compliment To The Boss Or Supervisor 

You can tell the employee’s boss or supervisor what a great job they are doing. 

Most store managers are used to customer complaints about the store, but it can be great to hear what a wonderful job their employees are doing!

You can call the store after you leave to give your compliments or find a store manager while you are still there.

This can go a long way for some employees, so make sure you are vocal with your praise too!

Say “Thank You”

You can say “thank you” to the employee. 

Retail service is often a thankless profession, so it can be a nice difference to hear a customer say thank you for what the employee is doing.

This doesn’t take more of your time or the employee’s time and is a simple way to show your gratitude. We can all forget how powerful thank you can be these days!

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