Since 1974, federal wage law has applied to your waitress’s tips. Today, the law allows her to keep all her tips. The restaurant-employer gets to claim a $2 hour credit against its obligation to pay minimum wage ($7.25 per hour). If it’s a slow day at the restaurant—and tips are short of the minimum wage rate— the employer owes the difference between tips and minimum wage (about $5 per hour).
The Trump administration plans a massive change: Restaurants may require “tip pooling.”
This means the employer gets all the tips. The employer can then give it all back to the wait staff.
The justification? Your cook or chef is not tipped. Nor is your dishwasher. The Trump team of lawyers say the purpose of the law is to pay those workers more evenly, relative to wait staff.
But here’s the way it’s worked for 40 years—the employer has to raise pay to keep good cooks.
The new plan has wait staff paying their co-workers—and there is no limit on how much the employer keeps from the tip-pool.
It’s hard not to notice that Trump properties have thousands of tipped employees who, under the rule, will be handing money over to the Trump-owned casino, golf course, hotel, bar, and so on.