The Department of Labor has amended restaurant wage regulations that allow employers to create a “tip pool” in which tipped workers – such as waiters and bartenders – must tip a portion of their tips to those workers who are not tipped. such as cooks and dishwashers.
The National Restaurant Association has welcomed the changes, which take effect in February, noting that they will help reduce pay inequality between those who work in dining halls and those who work in the kitchen. The Labor Department estimates that these changes to pay rules will bring kitchen workers an additional $ 109 million a year.
Due to inequality in pay, it is difficult to hire auxiliary restaurant workers, experts say. At the same time, the new rules do not inspire enthusiasm among waiters and bartenders, who could lose up to $ 700 million a year. In addition, the new rules removed the time limit on which tipped employees can perform non-tipped duties, such as helping to arrange furniture or cleaning tables after serving customers.
Heidi Schirholz, head of social affairs at the Institute for Economic Policy, notes that this will help restaurant owners save significant sums, since the base rate for waiters is much less than that of support workers. “It’s impossible to solve the problem of low wages of some workers at the expense of money taken from other, also not very highly paid workers,” Schirholz emphasized. “You just have to pay them more.”