Servers and other restaurant employees who receive tips may soon be asked by the employer to share that extra money with non-tipped employees, such as dishwashers and cooks, according to a new regulation announced by the Labor Department on Tuesday.
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Under the new rule, employers are prohibited from keeping tips from their employees, regardless of whether the employer receives a tip credit under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Employers who illegally maintain employee tips will face civil money penalties. that do not exceed $ 1,100.
Restaurant managers and supervisors are also prohibited from tipping employees or participating in a tip pool.
The regulation removes the 20% limitation on the time an employee for which an employer receives tipping credit can perform unpaid related duties. The rule states that employers may apply tips as part of meeting the minimum wage when an employee performs unpaid tasks for a “reasonable time” before or after performing paid tasks.
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Cheryl Stanton, hours and wages manager at the Labor Department, said the new rule “provides clarity to employers” and can increase pay for workers who have been “excluded from tipping groups in the past”
In addition, she said that the recently allowed tip sharing could “reduce the pay gap between all workers who contribute to customers’ experience”.
FLSA requires covered employers to pay their employees at least the current federal minimum wage of $ 7.25 an hour. Under federal law, workers who are tipped can receive only $ 2.13 an hour, as long as they receive enough tips to match the federal minimum wage.
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Heidi Shierholz, director of policy at the Institute of Economic Policy and an economist at the Labor Department during the Obama administration, told the Wall Street Journal that the measure “will allow employers to transfer the work of workers without to others”.
Shierholz also argues that the rule does not address wage inequality, adding that if the Trump administration wanted to raise the wages of domestic workers, “they could have supported an increase in the minimum wage”.
The final rule, an amendment to the 2018 Consolidated Appropriations Act, will take effect in 60 days, according to the Department of Labor.