Trump administration proposes changes to tipped workers - WNEM TV 5

Trump administration proposes changes to tipped workers

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

The Trump administration is proposing changes for workers who get paid with tips.

It would let employers ask those employees to share their tips with others who don't, as long as they're making minimum wage.

While that might not sit well with all workers, there is another provision sparking more outrage.

"It is a tough business. They work hard for their money, they truly do," said Patti Bergstrom, manager at Blackstones restaurant in downtown Flint.

What employees do with their tips could soon change across the country.

The Trump administration is moving to change the current rules. They are looking to give employers more say over how tips are shared.

"It would definitely hurt employees. You could lose your morale and you want people to work hard for you. That makes your establishment a place where people want to come. So you want to make it as good them as you can," Bergstrom said.

Employers can only require workers to pool their tips with other works who earn tips currently.

Under the new proposal, employers are given the option to ask employees who make at least $7.25 an hour to pool their tips with colleagues who don't earn tips - like busboys or dishwashers.

Bergstrom questions if this could cause service workers to make less than minimum wage.

"The goal is to make sure that their hourly rate including their tips is at least minimum wage and most the time it is," Bergstrom said.

Under the new proposal, establishment owners could take part of the workers' tips and put it back into their own business like expanding, remodeling or even lowering prices.

"That would never happen here. We would never do something like that," Bergstrom said.

Bergstrom said waiters already give a portion of their income to bartenders and busboys, but said that's where it should end.

Proponents of the change said the new law could put more money in the pocket of low-paid workers and lead to less turnover.

As for Bergstrom, she wants things to stay like they are.

"I don't know why they keep picking on the little guy like that," Bergstrom said.

The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs said the state only enforces Michigan law on this matter. It prohibits tip pooling with workers who do not regularly receive tips, such as dishwashers and cooks.

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