Dems urge Labor chief to delay new rule on workers' tips

Dems urge Labor chief to delay new rule on workers' tips
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House Democrats are calling on Labor Secretary Alexander AcostaAlex Alexander AcostaOn The Money: Trump slams relief bill, calls on Congress to increase stimulus money | Biden faces new critical deadlines after relief package | Labor rule allows restaurants to require broader tip pooling Labor rule allows restaurants to require broader tip pooling Federal litigator files complaint alleging Labor secretary abused his authority MORE to give the public more time to comment on a proposal to roll back the Obama-era rule that banned employers from pooling workers' tips.

In a letter Monday, 46 Democrats including Rep. Bobby ScottRobert (Bobby) Cortez ScottIndustry, labor groups at odds over financial penalties in spending package Historically Black colleges and universities could see historic funding under Biden plan Republican Winsome Sears wins Virginia lieutenant governor's race MORE (Va.), Keith EllisonKeith EllisonFormer Rep. Raúl Labrador running for Idaho attorney general Keith Ellison seeking reelection as Minnesota attorney general Minneapolis votes down measure replacing police department MORE (Minn.) and Mark TakanoMark Allan TakanoTaiwan says it is capable of responding to repeated Chinese military missions Five House members meet with Taiwanese president despite Chinese objections US lawmakers arrive in Taiwan to meet with local officials MORE (Calif.) asked Acosta to extend the current 30-day comment period to 60 days.

The Labor Department issued a proposal earlier this month to change the Fair Labor Standards Act regulation and allow employers to pool the tips of workers who make the minimum wage and share them with non-tipped workers. 

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The Democrats said the proposed rule would allow employers to pocket employee tips or redistribute them among employees, reversing the department’s more than 40-year position that tips are the property of the employee who earns them.

The proposed rule is expected to impact nearly 1.3 million tipped workers, but only those who make the standard minimum wage. Workers who make less than the minimum wage and rely on tips to supplement their pay were not part of the proposed rule.

The Democrats said the Labor Department failed to provide a quantitative analysis of the costs and benefits of the rule change. Extra time, they said, is needed to give those impacted by the rule time to provide meaningful input.

The National Restaurant Association has been fighting hard for the rule change to eliminate what it has said is a pay disparity between servers in the front of the house who receive tips and staff in the kitchen who do not.

“We applaud the Department of Labor’s review of tip regulations,” Angelo Amador, the group’s executive director, said in a statement when the proposed rule was released earlier this month.

“We look forward to submitting comments from the restaurant industry on the new rulemaking.”