Paul DeCamp Quoted in “House Democrats Propose Bill Restricting Tip Pools”

Law360

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 “House Democrats Propose Bill Restricting Tip Pools,” by Braden Campbell. (Read the full version – subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

Two congresswomen proposed a bill Wednesday that would block businesses from redistributing tipped workers’ tips without their permission, a day after Labor Secretary Alex Acosta told them he would support a measure that stopped employers from keeping their workers’ tips.

The Tip Income Protection Act, or TIP Act, would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act to block employers from pooling and redistributing workers’ tips unless the workers opt into the pool. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., and Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass.

The bill would effectively codify a 2011 U.S. Department of Labor rule stating that tips are the property of the worker who earns them even if their employer doesn’t take the so-called tip credit, an FLSA provision that lets businesses pay workers less than the federal minimum wage if the difference is made up in tips. The FLSA lets businesses pool the tips of workers as long as they’re paid at least the minimum wage, however. …

But the proposal “goes far beyond” the measure Acosta pledged to support in Tuesday’s hearing, said Epstein Becker Green national wage and hour practice group co-chair Paul DeCamp, who represents restaurant groups including the National Restaurant Association in a U.S. Supreme Court challenge to the rule.

“Virtually all of the public debate over DOL’s proposed rule has focused on the concern that employers might start keeping customer tips,” DeCamp wrote in an email to Law360. “This bill, however, starts by outlawing mandatory tip pools … even if the employees keep 100 percent of the tips.”