Paul DeCamp, Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s Washington, DC office, was quoted in Bloomberg BNA Daily Labor Report, in “Labor Department Walks Back Tipped Wage Policy,” by Jaclyn Diaz. (Read the full version – subscription required.)
Following is an excerpt:
Waiters who rely on tips for wages but have non-tip-producing duties that are incidental to their main job—such as washing dishes or cleaning tables—don’t have to be paid full minimum wage, the Labor Department said.
The guidance was one of several opinion letters the DOL issued Nov. 8 that tackle various issues including the controversial 80/20 tipped-work rule and questions over employee exemptions under federal wage law.
Most notably, this latest collection of opinion letters released by the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division changes guidance on the department’s position on the 80/20 policy. The 80/20 rule from the Obama administration mandated that tipped workers be paid the full minimum wage for time spent on tasks that don’t generate tips, provided those side duties make up at least 20 percent of their weekly hours.
This withdrawal from that mandate stems from an opinion letter request asking the department to reissue a Jan. 16, 2009, opinion letter.
By republishing this letter, the department also affects a lawsuit currently sitting in federal court. The Restaurant Law Center sued the DOL July 6 for maintaining the Obama administration’s 80/20 enforcement policy. The RLC asked a federal court in Texas to invalidate the policy as arbitrary and capricious under the Administrative Procedure Act.
Paul DeCamp, the attorney representing the RLC, said the case will most likely become moot. If the DOL is no longer implementing the Obama-era 80/20 rule the lawsuit was about, there’s no basis for the lawsuit, he said.