A new rule proposed by the Department of Labor could change how tips are distributed in bars across the country. If the regulation is passed as is, some bar owners could collect tips and either distribute them to the staff as the owner sees fit, or keep the tips for the business.
The change was first announced in July. It would reverse a 2011 rule by the Barack Obama-led Department of Labor that prohibits tips from going to anyone other than the bartenders and waitstaff to whom the tip was given. The new guidelines will go into effect after a mandatory 30-day public comment period that ends on January 4, 2018.
The National Restaurant Association and other people who agree with the change say that it could create more income equality between front and back of house, Eater reports. Opponents like the Restaurant Opportunities Center United (ROC United) say that it could increase labor costs and would allow unscrupulous owners to pocket the money themselves. ROC United also argues that the rule would “allow Donald Trump, the owner of multiple businesses that employ tipped workers, to keep and profit from his employees’ tips in all of his various businesses.”