Paul DeCamp, Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s Washington, DC, office, was quoted in Reuters, in “Restaurants Could Be 'Slaughtered' in Court Under Biden Wage Rule, Court Told,” by Daniel Wiessner.

Following is an excerpt:

Some restaurants will face "bankruptcy-level litigation" if a Biden administration rule regulating the way tipped workers are paid is not blocked, a lawyer for two trade groups told a U.S. appeals court on Tuesday.

The 2021 rule saddles businesses with the impossible task of tracking the amount of time workers spend on duties that generate tips and those that do not and exposes them to class action lawsuits for not doing so, the lawyer, Paul DeCamp, told a 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel in New Orleans.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) rule says workers must be paid the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, and not the $2.13 tipped minimum wage, for non-tipped tasks that take up more than 20% of their time or 30 consecutive minutes.

DeCamp, of Epstein Becker & Green, represents the Restaurant Law Center and Texas Restaurant Association. The groups say in their challenge to the rule that federal wage law only distinguishes between separate occupations, and not different tasks performed as part of the same job.

U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman in Austin, Texas in February declined to block the rule pending the outcome of the lawsuit. He said the groups had not shown the rule would cause the "irreparable harm" necessary to warrant blocking it.

Circuit Judge Kyle Duncan on Tuesday asked DeCamp whether the compliance costs associated with the rule, which DOL estimated would total $180 million per year for 470,000 businesses, were enough to meet the bar.

DeCamp said those bookkeeping costs alone justified blocking the rule. But the rule also requires businesses to track the individual tasks workers perform, which is infeasible, in case a business needs to defend itself from a lawsuit, he said.

“This regulation forces employers to maintain records, because you'll get slaughtered in litigation if you don't,” DeCamp said.

DeCamp was the head of DOL's Wage and Hour Division, which enforces federal wage laws including the tip rule, during the administration of Republican former President George W. Bush.


Jump to Page

Privacy Preference Center

When you visit any website, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences or your device and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalized web experience. Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer.

Strictly Necessary Cookies

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.

Performance Cookies

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.