Department of Labor rule change allows restaurants to force workers who receive tips share tips with workers who do not receive tips

– New changes to the Labor Department’s rules are being called a “year-end victory” for the restaurant industry, according to the National Restaurant Association – although servers that have tips for raising their wages below the minimum may not be enthusiastic affirmative. Fox Business reports a review done last Tuesday by DOL that now gives employers the ability to demand a “tip pool”, in which workers who receive tips, such as waiters and bartenders, must deliver a portion of their tips to workers who were not tipped, including dishwashers and cooks. Proponents of the rule change, which will take effect in February and vary by state, say it will help to balance the wage disparities that exist between employees who work for tips and those who do not, by placing an additional $ 109 million. for the pockets of domestic workers, according to DOL estimates.

Restaurant Business Online notes that, due to this current wage gap, domestic help can be difficult to find. Servers, however, may complain about having to share their tips, and another Labor Department shift won’t make them any happier: according to CBS News, a limit on how much tipped employees could spend doing work not included , like helping to set up or clean up, has been aborted. Heidi Shierholz, policy director for the nonprofit Economic Policy Institute, says this can lead to big savings for restaurants, as servers often receive much less than workers who tend to do these unmanaged tasks – but workers who receive tips can lose up to US $ 700 million a year due to this rule change, according to last year’s EPI estimate. “You do not resolve the low wages of the lowest paid workers by discounting them from the wages of the second lowest workers,” Shierholz told CBS. “You pay them more.” (Read more tip stories.)