Thursday, January 4, 2018

Submit a public comment: Resist Trump’s tip theft

Submit a public comment to the Department of Labor:
"I oppose the proposed 'Tip Regulations Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)' regulation (RIN: 1235-AA21). This rule would overturn decades of federal and state law and precedent safeguarding tips as the property of workers, by allowing employers to take control of their employees' tips."
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Submit a public comment: Resist Trump’s tip theft
Donald Trump’s Department of Labor is trying to steal tips from restaurant servers and give them to owners, instead.1
Restaurant workers are more likely to be women and people of color, more likely to be sexually harassed on the job and are already one of the worst-paid professions. This would make matters worse: Under the new rule, restaurant owners would keep tips intended for servers and dole them out, or pocket them as they please.2
The Trump regime is trying to rush through a change to 40 years of precedent during the holiday season.3 We can’t let that happen – so we’re teaming up with our friends at Restaurant Opportunities Centers United to generate as many public comments as possible before the urgent deadline. Can you help?
Once again, Trump is using sneaky, underhanded maneuvers to crush working people while an adoring press labels him a populist. The National Restaurant Association – a group that represents wealthy restaurant owners, not the workers who produce profits – has been pushing for this change for a long time, and now Trump’s Department of Labor is trying to help them sneak it through during the holiday season.4
The fact that workers have to rely on tips is already an outrage. Tipping began as an excuse not to pay Black workers after emancipation, and expanded from there. Ever since Democrats passed the first fair pay minimum wage laws, tips have been protected. Workers who receive tips may even be paid below the normal minimum wage – as little as $2.13 per hour – leaving them dependent on tips to survive.5
In 2012, the Obama administration reiterated 40 years of precedent and said employees own their own tips. If Trump gets his way, that rule will be reversed. Powerful restaurant owners could pocket tips – or dole them out at their pleasure, not the customers, making workers even more at risk of sexual harassment and abuse and perpetuating racial exploitation.6
Trying to rush through this change during the holiday season shows the Trump Department of Labor is susceptible to public pressure. We need a flood of comments opposing the change as soon as possible.
Business-backed, right-wing Republicans have been chipping away at fair pay for years, even as they oppose a living wage or increasing the minimum wage. Lawsuits have managed to give employers control of tips in 14 states. The restaurant industry likes to talk about “pooling” tips – but it’s not the workers deciding to share tips with each other, it’s the bosses taking the money and doling it out as they please.7
Trump is no populist – he’s a scam artist who got rich denying working people pay and is carrying on in office helping well-heeled restaurant owners steal from their employees. With a wave of comments, we can expose Trump as a phony and stall the Department of Labor’s rush to legalize tip theft.
Submit a public comment: Resist Trump’s tip theft. Click below to submit your comment:
- Murshed Zaheed, Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets
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  1. Sharon Block and Christine Owens, “Trump Wants You to Tip Restaurant Owners, Not Servers,” Dec. 7, 2017.
  2. Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, “Our Tips Belong to Us,” (PDF) Oct. 2017.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Ibid.
  6. Ibid.
  7. Ibid.

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