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New Proposed Rule Regarding Restaurant Workers’ Tips

November 6th, 2019

Something new may be coming to the menu for restaurant workers around Pennsylvania, however, not everyone is thrilled about its debut. The federal government has floated a proposal that would change the way restaurant employers are expected to pay employees who are eligible to receive tips. The proposed measure would encourage all tips to be shared with employees working in the back of the restaurant, including the cooks. In the process, the rule would change tipped workers’ minimum hourly wages.

A New Rule for Distributing Gratuities

Servers in Pennsylvania are paid $2.13 per hour because employers assume they will amass enough tips throughout a shift to earn minimum wage. Additionally, if the servers spend more than 20 percent of a shift on non-tipped responsibilities, they are required to receive the federal minimum wage for that time.

Under the new proposal, employers could start mandating that staff share tips with workers who would not normally get tips. At the same time, the proposal would allow some restaurants to mandate shared tips and only pay people $2.13 an hour if they were in positions that would normally share tips. Another aspect of the proposed measure is the opportunity for employers to pay only $2.13 per hour for non-tipped work. The only caveat is that the work must be done at a reasonable time around tipped work.

Pros and Cons of the Proposed Rule

Those in favor claim that because the proposal prohibits tip-skimming by employers, employees will earn more tips in the long run. A National Restaurant Association representative announced that the proposed rule would result in more understandable, streamlined regulations. Certain individuals feel that more money would end up in the hands of kitchen employees, such as dishwashers.

Those opposed to the measure feel that it gives too much power to employers to pay certain workers less per hour because they will theoretically receive more in tips. They suggest that this law would allow restaurant employers to essentially pocket more money for themselves. Terms regarding reasonable non-tip work has restaurant worker advocates concerned as the statement is too broad to be misinterpreted. As such, they feel that employers should assign certain staff members non-tip work without paying them appropriately for it.

As with all proposals, this measure may not become adopted in a widespread way. Regardless, all restaurant workers should make certain they understand their rights if rules change regarding tips and wages.

Delaware County Employment Lawyers at The Gold Law Firm P.C. Help Workers with All Types of Employment Matters

If you are a restaurant employee and feel you may have a case against your employer, please contact the Delaware County employment lawyers at The Gold Law Firm P.C. today. For a free consultation, call us at 215-569-1999 or complete an online form. Located in Philadelphia, we represent clients throughout Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, Northeast Philadelphia, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, and Montgomery County.

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