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Tue Dec 26, 2017, 09:07 AM

Let's talk Tips [View all]

Paraphrased from the article which is behind a paywall and some of my own editorializing,

As you visit your favorite restaurant this holiday season, keep this in mind. Trump's Department of Labor is rescinding rules concerning TIPS.(Tips should go to the person being tipped, duh)

On the one hand the restaurant industry justification for making us pay tips to wait staff is the tip is for good service, ostensibly the particular person giving the good service. On the other hand the restaurant industry is pressuring the government to allow THEM to decide what happens to those TIPS.

Officials argue that this will free restaurants to use some of the tip money to reward lowly dishwashers, line cooks and other workers who toil in the less glamorous quarters and presumably make less than servers who get tips(which cancels out the original justification for TIPS).

The government’s proposal makes clear that business owners would have no obligation to use the money in this way. They would be free to pocket some or all of that cash, spend it to spiff up the dining room or use it to underwrite $2 margaritas at happy hour. And that’s what makes this proposal so disturbing.

By changing the original justification of tipping, the government might well end up destroying the practice, a practice BTW I don't agree with. Wait staff should be paid a living wage and we should pay for it, like every other business model on Earth. Either way, working-class Americans, ESPECIALLY people who believed that Mr. Trump would fight for them will get screwed because many people will stop eating out, or giving TIP money to the restaurant employer to do with as they wish. Another workaround might be an alternative method of getting the TIP to wait staff.

The Trump Administration to Restaurants: Take the Tips!
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/21/opinion/trump-administration-restaurants-tipping.html?_r=0

Most Americans assume that when they leave a tip for waiters and bartenders, those workers pocket the money. That could become wishful thinking under a Trump administration proposal that would give restaurants and other businesses complete control over the tips earned by their employees.

The Department of Labor recently proposed allowing employers to pool tips and use them as they see fit as long as all of their workers are paid at least the minimum wage, which is $7.25 an hour nationally and higher in some states and cities. Officials argue that this will free restaurants to use some of the tip money to reward lowly dishwashers, line cooks and other workers who toil in the less glamorous quarters and presumably make less than servers who get tips. Using tips to compensate all employees sounds like a worthy cause, but a simple reading of the government’s proposal makes clear that business owners would have no obligation to use the money in this way. They would be free to pocket some or all of that cash, spend it to spiff up the dining room or use it to underwrite $2 margaritas at happy hour. And that’s what makes this proposal so disturbing.

The 3.2 million Americans who work as waiters, waitresses and bartenders include some of the lowest-compensated working people in the country. The median hourly wage for waiters and waitresses was $9.61 an hour last year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Further, there is a sordid history of restaurant owners who steal tips, and of settlements in which they have agreed to repay workers millions of dollars.

Not to worry, says the Labor Department, which argues, oddly and unconvincingly, that workers will be better off no matter how owners spend the money. Enlarging dining rooms, reducing menu prices or offering paid time off should be seen as “potential benefits to employees and the economy over all.” The department also assures us that owners will funnel tip money to employees because workers would quit otherwise.

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