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Proposed rule would allow tip pools

A regulation that protected tipped workers in Pennsylvania and throughout the U.S. may soon be modified. The Obama-era rule prohibited restaurants, bars and hotels from requiring tipped employees to pool their tips with non-tipped workers. A newly proposed regulation from the Trump Administration would allow restaurants to require tipped employees to participate in pools with back-of-the-house employees.

Opponents of the proposed regulation point to language in the rule that states that managers could use the pooled tips for structural improvements. They state that there is no requirement in the rule that the tips the workers earn will actually be distributed to them. They also say that there isn't a requirement in the rule that the pooled tips are distributed to any of the workers and may allow the employers to simply take their tips.

The restaurant industry has cheered the proposed regulation. The Labor Department stated that the rule is meant to help back-of-the-house employees to earn more money. Workers within the restaurant industry say that the rule would mean that tipped employees would make less money. The rule is not final and must still be opened for public comment.

Many workers depend on their tips in order to help them to earn decent paychecks. People who believe that their employee rights have been violated by their employers might want to consult with legal counsel. If the lawyers determine that the employers have violated the laws that protect workers, they may file complaints on their clients' behalf. Through lawsuits, the employees might be able to recover damages to compensate them for their losses, unpaid wages and tips that they should have received.

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