Paul DeCamp, Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s Washington, DC office, was quoted in Law360, in “Outcry Over Tip Reg Rollback Grows as Comments Close,” by Braden Campbell. (Read the full version – subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

Opposition to the U.S. Department of Labor’s push to rescind Obama-era tip pooling regulations gained momentum ahead of Monday night’s deadline for public comment on the agency’s proposal, spurred on by a report that the DOL covered up data showing the changes could have a hefty cost for workers.

Workers’ advocacy groups, Democratic politicians and thousands of individual commenters have called on the DOL to rethink its plan to let business owners redistribute workers’ tips in the wake of Bloomberg Law’s report that the agency withheld internal data suggesting employers could take “billions” of dollars worth of workers’ tips. The DOL’s Office of the Inspector General, which audits the agency, said Monday that it’s probing the rulemaking in response to media attention.

Experts disagree about whether the alleged omission could undermine the DOL’s rulemaking or give critics potent ammunition for a potential legal challenge to any final rule. But there’s no doubt that workers’ advocates will leverage the report for all it’s worth.

And no analysis could derail the rule if the DOL’s fundamental premise — that the Obama administration misinterpreted the Fair Labor Standards Act — is right, Epstein Becker Green wage-and-hour practice co-chair Paul DeCamp said.

“I think it’s important to take a step back in terms of what we’re seeing here,” said DeCamp, a former DOL Wage and Hour Division administrator who represents the National Restaurant Association in a U.S. Supreme Court suit over the 2011 rule. “The existing regulation is flat-out illegal.”


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