Trump administration could allow for tip-pooling at restaurants

Trump administration proposal could allow restaurant owners to take tips from servers (December 7, 2017)

The Trump administration has proposed a new plan that would once again allow tip-pooling in restaurants -- and not everyone is happy.

While some say the proposal would help close the disparity between tipped servers and hourly back-of-house workers, others say it could lead to employers stealing their workers' tips.

The plan is for the Department of Labor to roll back Obama-era regulations that consider tips to be the property of front-of-house workers, such as waiters, bartenders and bussers, and instead allow restaurant owners to decide how they want to split the tips. (For instance, should a percentage go to the hourly, back-of-house servers, such as dishwashers and cooks.)

The new proposal does not explicitly say employers cannot take the tips, which is why some worker advocate groups are concerned.

Those on both sides of the situation know that it's rather complicated, which is why many restaurants -- such as Magpie in Midtown Sacramento -- have come up with their own tipping system.

The restaurant has a place where customers can tip their server, and a separate spot for them to tip the back-of-house workers.

"We just wanted to make sure that our staff, that we were all sort of part of the same team," Ed Roehr, the chef and owner of Magpie, told ABC10. "Having that front-of-house, back-of-house divide is something that gets in the way of working together as a team."

For the next 30 days, the Department of Labor is accepting public comments on the proposal.

© 2017 KXTV-TV


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