WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Restaurant Law Center (Law Center) and its affiliate the National Restaurant Association (Association) filed comments today with the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, in support of proposed tip regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).   

In the comments, the groups highlight to the Department the industry’s general support for the approach taken in the proposed rule, while making a number of suggestions to make the final tip regulations more practical and workable for the restaurant industry and—more importantly—bring the final rule into greater alignment with the FLSA.

Angelo Amador, Restaurant Law Center Executive Director and National Restaurant Association Regulatory Counsel, and Shannon Meade, Restaurant Law Center Deputy Director and National Restaurant Association Vice President of Policy, today released the following statement:

“The food service industry supports the Department’s proposed rule and we appreciate the opportunity to weigh-in on behalf of the nation’s over one million restaurants, ninety percent of which are small- and family-owned with fewer than fifty employees.

“At its core, the tip credit is about tips, not the duties of an occupation.  That is why the Department should take this opportunity to step back from trying to micromanage restaurant work at the level of task assignment and, instead, return its focus to what the Wage and Hour Division is designed to do: ensure that employees receive the wages that FLSA Guarantees.

“In addition, we believe the Wage and Hour Division should clarify what is already implicit in the statute and the proposed regulations: that the limitations on tip pooling apply only in instances where a tip pool involves at least one tipped employee, because there may be circumstances where non-tipped employees, including managers and leaders, may themselves receive tips directly from customers, or may even have tip pools just among non-tipped employees. 

“We also encourage the Department to specify in the Final Rule that so long as side work occurs during the same shift or workday in which the employee engages in the main duties of their occupation, the tip credit is available for the entire shift so long as the other statutory criteria are met.”

Click here to read a copy of the Law Center/Association submission.

Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises more than 1 million restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of 15.6 million employees. Together with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, the Association works to lead America’s restaurant industry into a new era of prosperity, prominence and participation, enhancing the quality of life for all we serve. For more information, visit us at Restaurant.org.