Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

What's the Deal with Tips? the Labor Department Suppressed Evidence of How a Policy Would Affect Workers

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

What's the Deal with Tips? the Labor Department Suppressed Evidence of How a Policy Would Affect Workers

Article excerpt

An editorial from Bloomberg View

The U.S. Department of Labor recently proposed a rule change that could cost some of the country's lowest-paid workers billions of dollars. Worse, it now appears that the administration understood the likely consequences, and suppressed its research on the matter.

In December, the Labor Department said it wanted to revoke a 2011 rule that forces restaurant owners to let servers keep their customers' tips. The industry opposed the rule, arguing that it has widened the wage gap between the waiters and bartenders who work for tips and the "back of house" workers, like cooks and dish washers, who don't. Restaurants said they wanted to pool the tips and share them with all their workers, which would be fairer.

On the face of it, not such a bad idea. The problem was that the new policy wouldn't require any such pooling. Businesses would be free to treat tips as just another source of revenue. …

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