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DOL Covers Up Report to Help CEO's Steal Billions in Tips

A new report says Trump appointees covered up a damning report that said the repeal of the Tip Pooling Rule would cost workers billions

Brian Young's picture
Feb 02, 2018

Last month Trump and the Department of Labor proposed scrapping an Obama era regulation that protected workers tips. The new rule, known as the tip pooling rule, would allow employers to collect workers tips and then distribute them to both tipped and non-tipped workers, as well as keep some of that money for themselves. A new report now says that senior political officials in the department covered up an internal report that found changes to the law would result in billions of dollars being stolen from workers.

The initial report, which is standard procedure before a regulatory change, found that if the rule was changed billions of dollars would be lost by tipped workers. Bloomberg is reporting that sources inside the department were told to rewrite the report with numbers that favored making the change. Even after playing with the numbers, the staff was unable to create a report that Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta was politically comfortable with releasing. Instead, they hid the report and opened public comment on changing the rule.

Reports like this one are important since they are created by non-partisan government officials. However, the results of the Labor Department’s study seem to be in line with the results of the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute’s findings that said workers would lose $5.8 Billion.

The cover-up of an unfriendly report is just another example of Trump and his cronies trying to prevent bad news from being released as they shill for their billionaire friends. In Bloomberg’s report, they also say that it is unclear if the cover-up extends passed the Department of Labor, saying that it may also include political officials at the Office of Management and Budget. “I have to wonder about the internal pressure brought to bear on OIRA (Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs) in this case, because historically OIRA’s position has been that analysis is a good thing,” Stuart Shapiro, a career policy analyst at OIRA in the Clinton and Bush presidencies,” told Bloomberg Law. “It helps us make better decisions, it helps us increase the transparency of the regulatory effort.” Shapiro, who reviewed labor regulations in his tenure at the office, is now a Rutgers University professor researching the regulatory process.

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