Congress Makes A Splash By Tackling Tip Pools

Law360 (April 26, 2018, 11:31 AM EDT) -- The tug of war over which restaurant employees are entitled to a piece of customer gratuities continues. Seven years following the U.S. Department of Labor’s issuance of regulations (under then-President Barack Obama) expressly prohibiting employers from requiring tipped employees (those customarily working in the “front of the house,” such as waiters and bartenders) to share gratuities with nontipped “back-of-the-house” staff (including cooks and dishwashers), the rope has moved in the opposite direction.

Back in 2011, servers who customarily “worked for tips” welcomed with open arms the Obama-era DOL regulations, which deemed gratuities the “property” of the customer-facing employees who earned them,...

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