Take Action: Protect Workers’ Earned Tips!
On December 4, the Department of Labor proposed removing important language from labor regulations establishing that all tips belong to the person who earned them, because they say they want to promote more tip pools to share tips between front of the house and back of the house employees.
Over recent years there has been more and more of a push to create legal ways for tips to be pooled and split fairly, which can be limited by the existing regulations around tipped employees. The Department of Labor has proposed removing the statement that tips belong to the employee who earned them, opening up employees to rampant tip theft by their employers without any language ensuring that these tips would be shared fairly with their coworkers – or even distributed to employees at all.
Tips belong to the employee. If the Department of Labor is interested in creating a system where a greater number of tip pools can be created – they should amend the language around what is a valid tip pool, and not remove an important protection for working class Americans.
Are you mad?
I am concerned about the proposal to remove the 4th sentence of 531.52: “Tips are the property of the employee whether or not the employer has taken a tip credit under section 3(m) of the FLSA.” Removing this sentence will allow employers to claim that tips are their property and can be distributed – or not – as they please.
Patrons leave tips for their servers and service providers, intending for those tips to stay with that person, as a form of wage payment that goes from the customer directly to the employee. The Department of Labor’s own research and published data shows that wage theft is a huge problem in the United States which costs workers millions of dollars. Removing language protecting tips as the earned property of the employee will lead to many employers claiming those tips as their own income and not distributing them to employees.
I feel very strongly that this sentence should remain in the regulation, and that any changes should be made by expanding the definition of valid tip pools that employees can choose to opt in to.
Feel free to add a personal story about a problem you’ve had with an employer and tip income.
Comments submitted to the Federal Register are public records. Any personal information included in your comment text and/or uploaded attachment(s) may be publicly viewable on the web.
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