Trump Now Aiming To Reverse An Obama-Era Rule On Restaurant Tips

Submitted by: normalfreak2 1 week ago in News & Politics

Waitstaff from around the US.

Trump Administration favor's Socialism policy with Restaurant tipping. Well isn't that ironic. A rule Obama put in place where a waiter/waitress gets to keep their tips is being reveresd by Trump. Now, the waitstaff has to split their tips among their non-tipped coworkers in the kitchen.

An excerpt from the Los Angeles Times:

When it comes to restaurant tipping, the Trump administration apparently thinks socialism is best. The Labor Department has notified the Office of Management and Budget that it intends to rescind an Obama-era rule preventing restaurant owners from pooling servers’ tips with kitchen staff.

The rule specified that tips belong solely to the server. The Trump administration wants restaurant owners once again to be able to redistribute the wealth among non-tipped workers. A Labor Department spokesman declined to elaborate on the agency’s OMB filing, which offers no explanation for the proposed change.
There are 53 comments:
Male 419
What was the pre-Obama-regulation? Did the owner get a share?

Anyway, cooking a good meal is part of good service, so the kitchen staff should get their share. Also if you have to work at idle hours, your service can be as good as it may be, your tips will be low. Therefore sharing tips isn't bad.
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Male 1,526
7eggert there is a big difference in base pay between back-staff and wait staff.  The wait staff are paid about 2 bucks and hour with the expectation that tips fill the gap.  Back-staff is paid at least minimum wage.

Plus, when management “redistributes” wealth, some of it gets lost, and ends up in the owners pockets - see the lawsuit against Mario Batali.

This is a shit move.
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Male 419
woodyville06 So Obama was right to stop this, and if Trump would not just drop the law, but allowed redistribution among staff only, he'd improve the law ... but I guess he'll just drop it and the owners will be free to take a share again?

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Male 1,526
7eggert it looks that way.
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Male 41,157
7eggert IDK but in most places? The owner or manager decides (with the agreement of the staff one presumes!) how it is done. I don't think there was a Federal law about it before. 

Tip sharing is almost always done between waitresses and the bartender for some reason, and the busboys of course. The kitchen staff are often paid more because it's a higher-skill job with longer hours, but some places they're barely over minimum wage too. It makes sense to me that the food is getting them tips, so sharing should be allowed.

That's the thing here: allowed to make the choice, not dictated by the government.

Oh, and I think the owner taking away tips is illegal almost everywhere? Pretty sure it's illegal in Canada...
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Male 352
I don't understand all the complaints on here. This is clearly part of the remove two old regulations to get a new regulation rule that went into effect. I would think all you commies would be excited to hear what new rule the government is going to enforce to make our lives better. Yay Government!!!! We love ya!!
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Male 41,157
johncourage Except it is removing government control (afaik) and allowing freedom of choice for the workers and owners. So you have it backwards.
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Male 352
5cats As I said, "remove two old regulations to get a new regulation rule", removal of the tip regulation and some other regulation allows the addition of some other regulation. Nothing backwards there.
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Male 41,157
johncourage What "new regulation" has been added? The "new law" says that restaurants are FREE to decide which system they use. The Obama PO demanded they use one and only one: Federally Mandated. 

So what is the harm in Trump's move? Allowing people to be free to choose their own system? I just don't see what all the bitching is about: more #FakeNews with a #NothingBurger to go!
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Male 352
5cats I agree completely. I don't know what the "new law" is but rest assured that with the rule that 2 regulations must be removed before 1 can be added, there was probably another regulation removed (Yay!!) and another one added (boo!!).
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Male 707
On the actual point. Tips should be for good service not standard. Dont like that aboit the US, just reflect it in the prices pay staff proper wages, they do bad fire em easy enough done. 

As for Trumps move meh, there is good and bad to it. But I do think it shows one reason i think Obama was a bit bad. He used executive authority too much so his rules and legacy can be unwound easily. He decided to bypass congress too much.
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Male 8,071
jayme21 Spot on man, I've been saying that as well.  We are getting a great lesson in Civics in America.  You can rule by executive order but the next guy can come in and undo everything.  Congress has to pass laws for things to change.
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Male 343
We have a president that is obsessed with undoing anything Obama did. This is not good, even if you hated Obama this is not good. He doesn't appear to even be giving consideration to the reversals just Obama did it then undo it. 
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Male 41,157
taxidriver Um, why didn't Obama pass a proper law then? He was a 'constitutional lawyer' after all, he knew exactly what a PO was.
He didn't pass a proper law because even when the Democrats controlled everything they'd never have agreed to it! It was a stupid law which over-reached the Federal Gov't power and urgently needed to be removed.

Trump campaigned on un-doing the shit Obama did, isn't is good to keep election promises? Unlike Obama...
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Male 1,759
This is a thorny bush by any way you look at it. The splitting of tips is in no way new. Being single for most of my life I have spent a lot of time in restaurants and bars. Many have tip sharing systems from the bar tenders splitting all there tips and taking a small share from the wait staff. The same with the wait staff splitting tips and giving a share to the bar tenders, I have never heard of the sharing of tips with the people in the Kitchen but they do make at least minimum wage and some times quite a bit more (cooks and there helpers) and these polices were enforced by management so nothing new here really. So he is not really stopping any thing except the rule that stops employers from controlling wages (which had been going on for a long time) . I personally don't like the Idea of giving the Kitchen help tips from the front people it is just unfair in that they, like I said get paid at least minimum wage if they don't make enough the restaurant should pay them more (or there is the age old get another Job), on the other hand he is rising the life style of the back by improving there wage at the cause of the front workers. In no way does this "push the lowest down and concentrating wealth at the top", that is as long as management does not keep some of the tips. This concentrates the money where it belongs in the workers hands. Of course this can, and I say Can help improve service too as long as it works to improve front to back cooperation. I have heard the back complain that they should get a percentage of the tips on more then once. In last the pay out from one division to the next (waitress to bartender) is usually small a couple of %, but of course if you start having to share with several different sections of the restaurant it could add up to a untenable  percentage.
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Male 969
If it was to be a socialist policy, the employees would decide what to do with their tips, i.e. share/not share.  By ensuring the employer decides what happens to the tips (including, btw, permitted to have a not-insignificant percentage of the tips going to management), its simply put the power in the employers' hands, further pushing the lowest down and concentrating wealth at the top.
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Male 41,157
punko Um, I don't think this law does anything like that? It removed a previous 'law' (PO) which forced one system on everyone. This law gives people free choices.

Of course the management keeping part of the tips should be illegal, it probably has been all along. But letting the individual restaurants or chains decide what works best for them is FAR better than Obama commanding how it is done!
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Male 969
5cats Sadly, several jurisdictions that didn't have any laws regarding tips, discovered that management were 'organizing' the tips for the staff, while deducting a percentage for managing the funds and including managers along with the non-wait staff as getting shares in the tips.
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Male 41,157
punko Well, that should be illegal anyhow yes?
Trump isn't ordering this to happen is he? no? Then I don't see the problem here. If individual States have crappy, outdated laws it is up to THEM to fix it, not for the Feds to impose one blanket law for everyone...
That's how it works.
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Male 1,891
Simple answer:  Don't wait tables in a place that pools tips and it will stop immediately because there will be no customers if there are no servers.

Not so simple reality: Pooling tips between the front and back of the house works as an incentive for both sides to work together.  Anyone who has ever worked in a sit down restaurant has seen or experienced the break between FOH and BOH.  This works in rare cases but usually only looks good on paper and in think tanks. I worked in a country club where the chef wouldn't even call the ticket unless the server attached cash to the ticket commensurate with the value of the order; I didn't stay long.
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Male 5,213
I love the way the Republicans are always working hard to figure out ways for the wealthy to take money from the working poor. If anyone hasn't figured this out already, the main idea here is to allow restaurant owners to take money from the waitstaff and put it in their pockets. 

Yes, I know: Money taken from the servers would be used to pay part of the wages of the kitchen staff. This means less of the pay of the kitchen staff has to come out of the owner's pocket. There is not a snowball's chance in hell that this proposal is intended to actually raise the pay of the kitchen staff. It's a shell game, and the net effect is that the owners are taking money from the servers for themselves.
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Male 1,526
squrlz4ever I don’t know what idiot downvotes your comment.  It is the pure and honest truth.  

Restaurants are losing their ass and looking to keep costs down at all costs.  This includes “20% is the new 15%” in tips: why? Because the owners don’t want to pay them more and raise prices, they want you to pay them more and shame you into it.

Now with this shit move they can avoid pay raises by shifting money From the servers to the back staff.
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Male 1,891
squrlz4ever "I love the way the Republicans are always working hard to figure out ways for the wealthy to take money from the working poor"

I wanted to come up with a snappy retort for this but I remembered an old movie I watched with my kids and figured it would apply to the situation.  People need to grow a spine already; one standing alone is easy to take down, but get them to stand together....
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Male 8,071
squrlz4ever It's the Republican's favorite plan, Give money to the "job creators"  I mean if you give them money they give good paying jobs amirite?
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Male 4,316
There's some very easy ways to fix the waiter waitress problem in America. Unfortunately American workers tend to be lazy and you'll get bad service without tipping.
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502
I thought the point of the lower minimum wage for waitstaff was because they got paid in tips? If the back-of-house staff aren't working for the same low base wage, why the fuck are they getting tips?
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Male 3,879
When i was younger and worked at restuarants, the kitchen staff got a much higher base rate than the servers who were mostly dependent on tips, in 2 of the restaurants, the servers got to keep all their tips.

This rule could be fine if the server base rate is increased, but 3.50 per hour + tips is pretty harsh if you cant even keep your tips.
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Male 1,526
daegog this is why the “suggested” tips they print on the bill now are 20%, 25% and 30% (where I am anyway).

Management is looking to keep theircosts  down and shame you into making up the difference.  That in itself is not a real issue; if the serv8ce is good, then fine.  But moving that money to others is another story.



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Male 41,157
So the Government forcing one policy on specific businesses and removing their choices isn't socialism, but allowing owners and managers to have the freedom of choosing which policy to follow IS SOCIALISM!

Amazing!
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Male 419
5cats Exactly that's the common misconception, socialism is about sharing wealth and caring for the people, not about obeying rules. Otherwise it's just a wrongly-placed label.
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Male 41,157
7eggert Except NF2 is using it (the word 'socialism') as an insult against Trump...

And he ignores that the Obama PO is the one enforcing Federal laws to only have one system, thus removing any choices the staff had before.
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Male 8,071
5cats Uhhh yea it is, it forces the redistribution of wealth instead of the person who earned it.  IE a socialistic policy.
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Male 352
normalfreak2 Socialism is the government controlling businesses through outright ownership or excessive regulation. "redistribution of wealth" is not socialism but it is something that socialists attempt to achieve by using socialism.

Edit: LOL, somebody down voted a factual definition.
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Male 41,157
johncourage Obama ordered excessive regulation: by your definition that's socialism.
Trump removed that bad PO. By your definition that's the opposite of socialism. NF2 wouldn't know a fact if it crawled up his anus and chewed on his Adams apple... he'd just pretend it didn't exist since the DNC said so.
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Male 352
5cats I agree except for the the "your definition" part. I gave THE definition of socialism.
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Male 41,157
normalfreak2 So allowing owners/managers the freedom to CHOOSE which policies to use is "forcing them" now?
And forcing them to use only ONE Government approved policy is what, exactly?
This law doesn't demand they all follow ONE system, that was what the Obama policy did though. So... doublespeak?
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Male 583
How about forcing employers to pay a decent living wage and ending the ridiculous tipping culture that currently exists.
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Male 8,715
mrteatime I rather enjoyed the tipping culture.  Because if you're good at your job, you make significantly more than minimum wage.

Basically, when I see someone who complains about bad tippers, I automatically realize they are terrible at their job.  (Except when talking about lawyers..they suck at tipping.)

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Male 1,526
megrendel how is that the case if servers pool tips (most do, don’t they)?  The overachiever supports the slacker.

Also, who are the worst and best tippers in your experience?  I was only a busboy in highschool and got a cut of the waitresses gave us

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Male 8,715
woodyville06 not sure of the percentages, but the places I worked did not pool all the servers. Usually I kept all my tips. In one case I shared tips only with the busboys who were assigned the same table I was.

Worst tippers: Lawyers and Southern Babtists on a Sunday.

Best tippers: Middle class workers and drunk good ole boys during a football game.
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Male 1,593
megrendel I'd rather they were paid like everyone else and leave tipping as what it was supposed to be in the first place, a GRATUITY, and not paying the rest of the server's wages.
There's absolutely no reason we can't tip anyone that does an exceptional job, but telling us we HAVE to tip our servers or they won't come even close to making a living wage is just a total asshole move. (as is forcing people to work for peanuts and beg for tips)
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Male 8,715
squidbush You don't HAVE to tip anyone.  Wait staff will make, at minimum, minimum wage.

Tips, after all, are wage, and are counted as such.  If a server's tips and hourly do not equal the minimum wage, by law the employer must make up the difference.

I can honestly say that after initial training I always made over minimum wage, sometimes considerably more.

Also, as a result of my past experience, I 1) tip very well and 2) tip only using cash.
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Male 1,593
megrendel no you don't have to tip, but any tips received really shouldn't be considered anything other than an extra income after being paid a reasonable wage.

"by law the employer must make up the difference." by state law. Many states don't have that.
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Male 8,715
squidbush by state law.

Sorry, that is incorrect. It is Federal law. According to the U.S. Department of Labor: If an employee's tips combined with the employer's direct wages of at least $2.13 an hour do not equal the federal minimum hourly wage, the employer must make up the difference.
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Male 41,157
mrteatime $100 an hour minimum wage! Prosperity for everyone!
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Male 583
5cats Who said anything about $100 an hour wages?
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Male 41,157
mrteatime I did, just there in that comment you replied to.

You said decent living wage, and $100 an hour is decent yes? So? Why stop at $15, lets go for the gusto!
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Male 5,213
5cats 5Cats, I logged onto IAB over 15 minutes ago and have been looking in vain for one intelligent comment from you. True story.
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Male 8,071
5cats Keep beating down those strawmen!
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Male 1,445
5cats not even that, but in the US restaurants can LEGALLY pay their employees less than minimum wage since the "tips cover the rest." Whereas in Canada, they have to pay min wage regardless of tips or not.  It's an idiotic policy that made sense during the 1920's but not now where businesses can afford to pay proper wages. "living wages" will likely never happen, but they should be getting at least minimum wage from their employers.

The government forcing tip distribution in either way is stupid; it should be up to each individual business. Tim Horton's splits among everyone working. other restaurants are set as your tips are your tips. Personally I think tips should be abolished, but some rely on them (especially in the US)


As for "socialism" - that's not a bad thing entirely.  Our health system is socialism and especially this past year, I'm extremely grateful for it and that I don't live in the US.
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Male 41,157
korahn Under Obama's law the government enforced tip distribution, Trump removed that Federal enforcement and allows individual businesses to figure it out for themselves.

So you are opposed to what Obama did, and support Trump fixing it, even though you haven't figured that out yet, lolz! :-)
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Male 1,593
korahn That's one thing many people in other countries don't get, i think. servers in the US get totally screwed on their hourly wage and are expected to perform for tips. 

"The government forcing tip distribution in either way is stupid"
Which is why the move made by the Trump administration is good, the policy before WAS forcing tip distribution. The other thing that always pissed me off is the way tips are taxed. there IS a minimum amount of tips per year that are automatically taxed, whether you get them or not if, you're in a job that pays less than minimum wage + tips. Fun, huh?
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Male 41,157
squidbush See? You get it! NF2 tells absolute lies about it and everyone liberal  just nods like sheep...

Don't different States have different rules about wages, taxes and such? Thus one Federal law enforced on all of them would be a BAD idea, which is exactly what Obama did!
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