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Protect Workers’ Earned Tips

The Department of Labor wants to make tip pooling legal again. That means restaurant owners could collect servers’ tips and redistribute them as they see fit — including taking them for themselves. They have proposed removing critical language from labor regulations establishing that all tips belong to the person who earned them.

Today is the final day to submit a public comment about this rule change, which could financially endanger low-income people across the country.

Action:  Click the following link to submit a comment about this rule change.

Sample comment:  (Please personalize.  If comments are found to be duplicated, they are often treated as less important.)

“I am concerned about the proposal to remove the 4th sentence of 531.52: “Tips are the property of the employee whether or not the employer has taken a tip credit under section 3(m) of the FLSA.” Removing this sentence will allow employers to claim that tips are their property and can be distributed – or not – as they please.

Patrons leave tips for their servers and service providers, intending for those tips to stay with that person, as a form of wage payment that goes from the customer directly to the employee. The Department of Labor’s own research and published data shows that wage theft is a huge problem in the United States which costs workers millions of dollars. Removing language protecting tips as the earned property of the employee will lead to many employers claiming those tips as their own income and not distributing them to employees.

I feel very strongly that this sentence should remain in the regulation, and that any changes should be made by expanding the definition of valid tip pools that employees can choose to opt in to.”

Feel free to add a personal story about a problem you’ve had with an employer and tip income.


Thanks to Rise Stronger and Together We Will for today’s action.

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