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Congress Proposes Protections for Tipped Workers

A bill with bi-partisan support would protect tips from being stolen by employers

Brian Young's picture
Mar 15, 2018

In January, Trump’s Labor Department proposed changing the rules governing tipped workers. As UCOMM reported at the time, the rule change would cost these workers billions of dollars in stolen tips.

To protect these workers, Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) offered up legislation, known as the Tip Income Protection (TIP) Act, that will strengthen protections for tipped workers and secure their tips as property of the workers who earn them.

“Tipped workers—not their bosses—are entitled to their hard-earned dollars,” said DeLauro. “The biggest economic challenge of our time is that too many people are working in jobs that do not pay them enough to live on. Given that reality, it boggles my mind that the Trump administration would allow employers to pocket minimum wage workers’ money, yet the recent DOL proposal would create that exact loophole.”

While most of the legislation that Democrats have sponsored over the last year has been a non-starter, the TIP Act may actually have a shot at getting passed. Trump’s Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta said after the bill was introduced that he would support legislative action to protect tipped workers. Additionally, Representative Tom Cole, the chairman of the Appropriations Committee indicated that he will support the legislation as well.

“Every day, workers depend on their hard earned tips to feed their families and get through school, and the least this administration can do is offer assurance that their bosses won’t steal from them,” said Clark. “We should hold Secretary Acosta to his word and expect this administration to work with Republicans and Democrats to pass the TIP Act.”

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