I work in a restaurant, can the owner keep my tips?
In most states, you either have your own tips you keep or the tips are shared with the other servers, water servers, bartenders, and clean up staff. In Rhode Island, it appears that the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training mentions gratuities and tips in its manual. The manual briefly mentions that your employer can indeed use your tips as a credit against your minimum hourly wage and then anything over that must be certified and included in the certification.
You may wish to contact the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training to find out if the above rule meets with your employer's method of collecting and crediting tips you earn.