Trump's Department of Labor proposes rule that lets employers steal employees' tips

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Every economic policy these guys put forward sounds like something a cartoon villain would come up with.


Millennials - the screwed generation


Let’s be clear that the compensation situation at restaurants is already super messed-up. In their defense they’re TRYING to provide a way for the kitchen staff to get paid better. Currently kitchen staff don’t share in tips, and as a result the wait staff get compensated much more. I agree the employer shouldn’t share in the tips at all.

You might say the employer should make up the difference, but the economics of running restaurants doesn’t really allow it (Source: Am opening a restaurant). And if you’re one of the bold restaurants that has a service charge instead of tips for just this reason, you can rely on your wait staff defecting for employment with one of the places that doesn’t mind screwing the kitchen staff. So something has to happen to level the field, and this is an attempt.


Isn’t that what the law requires? That if a tipped employee’s hourly wage, plus tips, doesn’t add up to the non-tipped minimum wage, the employer is supposed to make up the difference?


It sure does.


Servers aren’t screwing the kitchen staff, owners are. If you think they deserve more money, pay them.


I’m split on the idea of sharing tips because there’s places right now that do this illegally where the owner gets a significant portion of the tips. Tip pooling would be fine if there were laws and regulatory oversight to ensure that all tips go to the staff and not one cent goes to the restaurant owner. Then it would be fair and everyone would have skin in the game of making their service from kitchen to the wait staff/bussing being done to their highest ability of all the staff. It’s obvious the result will be the restaurant owners will be adding their own tax to such tip pools rather than giving all staff a more equalized wage.


This is not news - didn’t it come out a few months ago?

News Flash! It’s been happening for decades. …


Wheras I say if your business model doesn’t provide a living wage for your employees then it isn’t really a viable business model.


You, as a restaurant owner, are very probably right that you can’t succeed by unilaterally paying staff more.

The federal government, by forcing change at all restaurants at once, would avoid that problem by also shifting your entire competitive landscape. Everyone’s prices go up, and no one is in a relatively worse competitive position. It is possible people would go out less, reducing the number of restaurants a market will support, but higher demand from the employees themselves should at least partly balance that.


“My business model only works if I cheat people out of a living wage” isn’t a compelling argument.


It’s viable if the staff will work for whatever they are offered, especially if all the local alternatives pay similarly. Not saying it’s right, but it’s provably viable in our messed up economy. I’m constantly surprised at how cheap many restaurant meals are. I’d pay a little more in many cases but it seems not enough people agree with me to enable better wages. And even if we did pay more, there’s always owners like the Wells Fargo CEO who would consider it all their rightful profit as long as the wages could be held down. Sigh.

I’m not sure “wage slaves who need to make rent and don’t have the time or resources to picket or protest for better working conditions will take whatever they can get while business owners collaborate to keep wages down everywhere” is a compelling argument either.


Didn’t say it was (“not saying it’s right”).
So I concur - not a compelling argument. But a provably viable model in our messed up economy.

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Are we sure that they’re not toons?

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I’ve read a few cases where restaurant owners stopped the entire tipping practice altogether, and paid a much higher wage, and they had staff retention, not loss. It stopped in-fighting between servers and back kitchen staff, and between servers over shifts/tables. It also stopped the ever present sexist shitheels that show up to harass waitresses via the tipping mechanism.

This new rule is categorically not a way to help anyone get paid better. This is a way to pull more money out of other people’s hands and put it into business owners pockets.


They’ve tried opening restaurants with no tipping in the Bay Area. At least one of them shuttered, although I don’t know if it’s specifically due to that business model. I think customers get a little wary when they see higher prices on the menu, even if the final bill is ultimately the same. That’s human perception failures for you.

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Do they have any kind of recognizable “Fair Wage” type sign/symbol outside at the door?

If the customers knew what was going on, they might be more supportive.