From the United States Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division
The employer must provide the following information to a tipped employee before the employer may use the tip credit:
The employer may provide oral or written notice to its tipped employees informing them of items 1-5 above. An employer who fails to provide the required information cannot use the tip credit provisions and therefore must pay the tipped employee at least $7.25 per hour in wages and allow the tipped employee to keep all tips received.
- The amount of cash wage the employer is paying a tipped employee, which must be at least $2.13 per hour.
- The additional amount claimed by the employer as a tip credit, which cannot exceed $5.12 (the difference between the minimum required cash wage of $2.13 and the current minimum wage of $7.25).
- That the tip credit claimed by the employer cannot exceed the amount of tips actually received by the tipped employee.
- That all tips received by the tipped employee are to be retained by the employee except for a valid tip pooling arrangement limited to employees who customarily and regularly receive tips.
- That the tip credit will not apply to any tipped employee unless the employee has been informed of these tip credit provisions.
Employers electing to use the tip credit provision must be able to show that tipped employees receive at least the minimum wage when direct (or cash) wages and the tip credit amount are combined. If an employee's tips combined with the employer's direct (or cash) wages of at least $2.13 per hour do not equal the minimum hourly wage of $7.25 per hour, the employer must make up the difference.
The Wage and Hour Division produces a number of useful on-line fact sheets.
The Department of Labor also provides guidance for employing minors, both in terms of work hours as well as hazardous occupations. That information is available a http://www.youthrules.dol.gov/index.htm