Tips should go to the employees | Letter to the editor

To the editor:

The Department of Labor wants to steal tips from restaurant servers and give them to owners.

As one of the multitude of women who have worked in restaurants at some point in life. I always try to tip in cash, so that my waitperson has control over my tip.

In 2012, the DOL reiterated 40 years of precedent and said employees own their own tips. But this has been chipped away at through court cases by big restaurant associations ever since. Right now the DOL is proposing to change the regulations to basically give employers full ownership over tips.

Although the DOL press release about this makes it seem like all they are proposing is that employers can require that tips go into a pool to be shared by all employees, like cooks and dishwashers, I read the entire rule change text; it clearly gives the employer broad control when workers are paid at least the U.S minimum wage (currently $7.25/hour). If this rule change goes into effect, restaurant owners will be able to pocket tips. This isn’t the workers deciding to share tips with each other, it’s the bosses taking the money and doling it out, or not, as they please.

The National Restaurant Association has been pushing for this change for a long time, and now the DOL plans to sneak it through during the holiday season.

The comment period for the rule change ends Jan. 4, 2018. You can read the text and submit comments here:

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/12/05/2017-25802/tip-regulations-under-the-fair-labor-standards-act-flsa.

For more info: http://www.newsweek.com/trump-wants-you-tip-restaurant-owners-not-servers-740792.

KATHRYN WILHAM

Suquamish

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