Tags: labor department | change | restaurant | tips

Labor Dept. Proposes Change to Allow Restaurant Employers to Redistribute Tips

Labor Dept. Proposes Change to Allow Restaurant Employers to Redistribute Tips
(AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 09 January 2018 02:35 PM

The Department of Labor is proposing to change a rule in the restaurant industry that says tips belong to the employee that receives them, the Washington Examiner reported.

The Trump administration wants to change the rule to allow employers to redistribute tips to workers that don't get them, as long as all of the employer's workers are paid at least the state or federal minimum wage, the newspaper reported.

Those in favor of the change point out the disparity in pay between wait staff and bartenders, and workers in the "back of the house" such as cooks and dishwashers.

"In a nutshell, it's about fairness and freedom," a Labor Department official who requested anonymity told Examiner.

Critics of the change say this is a way for employers to gain access to employees' tips.

"This is not a rule about pooling tips. This is about employers getting control of tips," said Heidi Shierholz, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute.

However, those in favor of that change reject that claim. "The reality of the labor market is you just cannot keep the tips. Owners who did that would go out of business fast, because they wouldn't be able to hire anybody," said Gary Huffman, owner of Chefstable, a Portland, Oregon restaurant development company.

The Labor Department said the change was in the "gathering input" phase, so no decisions have yet been made, the Examiner reported.

Sharing a portion of tips has been done to compensate for the discrepancy in pay, according to restaurant owner Kurt Huffman.

Most servers are happy to share a portion of tips, Huffman told NPR, because "you don't want to be known as the guy or the girl who stiffs the kitchen.

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The Department of Labor is proposing to change a rule in the restaurant industry that says tips belong to the employee that receives them, the Washington Examiner reported.
labor department, change, restaurant, tips
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2018-35-09
Tuesday, 09 January 2018 02:35 PM
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