Letter: Tip-pooling an insidious practice that will cost servers money

Letter: Tip-pooling an insidious practice that will cost servers money



Amidst the daily chaos coming out of the White House, a quiet war against American workers is flying under the radar. I write specifically about a Department of Labor policy proposal concerning tip pooling in restaurants and other tip-based businesses.

On first glance, the rule change looks like an effort to boost the pay of back-of-the-room employees such as dishwashers, line cooks and other hourly workers by pooling and redistributing tips. But here’s the kicker: nothing in the rule would require management to disburse the tips.  As long as workers are paid the federal minimum wage ($7.25 per hour — try living on that!), they can pocket the money, use it for capital improvements, or do whatever they want with it.

Tip theft goes on, illegally, all the time, but this new rule would legalize it. The Department of Labor did an analytical estimate of how much in wages would potentially be lost, and the results were so egregious that they suppressed the report to prevent public scrutiny. But an independent study by the nonpartisan Economic Policy Institute shows that workers may lose well over $5 billion annually.

I challenge Trump supporters to explain how this would drain the swamp and make America great again.

Joseph Light
Westerly


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