Department of Labor wants servers to share their tips

December 06, 2017 05:23 AM

When you tip a server at a restaurant, you expect that money will go to them, but the U.S. Department of Labor is proposing a change to the way restaurant workers are paid. It would allow tip pooling and the proposal is creating some controversy. 

The Labor Department said in a statement that the rule contributes to pay disparities between servers and other staff, like cooks and dishwashers. If the department of labor changes the rules, it would allow tip pooling. Tip pooling is when you turn all your tips into the boss and the boss would control the way the tips are distributed throughout the staff.

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This would allow traditionally non-tipped workers like dishwashers and cooks to earn tips too.

Tip pooling became illegal in 2011 during the Obama Administration. Right now, if you earn it, you keep it and you don't have to share.

The current administration wants to take a closer look at the rules to increase the earnings of employees who aren't making as much. The idea is to give them an incentive to provide better customer service.

Peter Gines, owner of Jines Restaurant in Rochester said he isn't completely sold on the idea.

"I have mixed feelings, I'm really not sure," Gines said. "Tips are based on service, usually front of house service, however the entire restaurant experience goes from front to back of house."

Gines says he is committed to making sure all of his employees receive fair wages. 

The National Restaurant Association has petitioned the supreme court to challenge the Department of Labor's new view on tip pooling.

A server who didn't want to be named said she's against tip pooling because it would allow lazy workers to reap the benefits of hard workers.

The Department of Labor is allowing a 30-day public comment period. If you want to weigh in, you'll find the website here.


Kaci Jones

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