Restaurants could soon require waiters, bartenders and delivery drivers to split tips with their co-workers or even managers if a proposed rule from the Department of Labor takes effect.
The move would reverse a rule enacted during President Barack Obama's administration, which declared tips the property of the workers who collected them.
“The proposal would help decrease wage disparities between tipped and non-tipped workers,” the Labor Department said in a statement Monday. …
Paul DeCamp, a Washington lawyer who represents the National Restaurant Association and previously worked for the Bush administration's Labor Department, said pooled tips are actually ways to support more lower-paid workers, who work in the kitchen, for example.
“You see the people in the front of the house making twice what the people in the back of the house are making,” he said. “It’s a real disparity.”
DeCamp dismissed concerns that restaurants would pocket the tips. He said restaurants that abuse pooled tips could face economic consequences, including higher employee turnover and lawsuits.
“If you’ve got restaurants where you’ve got tipped employees, but the restaurants are keeping all the tips, you’re not going to have those tipped employees anymore,” he said.