SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A controversial Trump administration proposal that would give employers more control over workers’ tips is moving forward.
The proposal would put an end to an Obama administration regulation that barred front-of-the-house restaurant servers and bartenders from pooling tips with back-of-the-house cooks and dishwashers.
The proposal generated so much feedback on the U.S. Department of Labor website that the public comment period was extended to this past Monday.
“We work together well because everybody is working towards the same product,” said Janel Inouye, the co-owner of Magpie in Sacramento.
She does things a bit differently at her restaurant.
“We added a second tip line in our credit card option that allows our guest to tip our kitchen as well as the front of the house,” explained Inouye.
Legally, she can’t require her servers to split tips with the kitchen staff.
“We wanted a way to share a part of that gratuity with the back of the house,” said Inouye.
She’s in favor of the proposal that would ease the regulation and provide freedom for employers to require tip sharing.
The California Restaurant Association didn’t take a stance on the proposal but said equity is a priority.
“We support the idea of spreading some wage love to people who work in the back of the house, but exactly what that’s going to look like, we’re not really sure,” said Sharokina Shams, a spokesperson for the California Restaurant Association.
Not everyone agrees with the potential change.
Nearly 400,000 people submitted comments about the proposal to the United States Department of Labor website. An overwhelming majority in opposition to the rule. Many writing that the change would take billions of dollars from service workers and force some into poverty.
“It puts you in an awkward spot,” said Steven Cubrilovic, “obviously your wages are about to change.”
Cubrilovic isn’t in favor of pooling tips. As a server for 10 years, he says the rule change would crush front-of-the-house staff who depend on tips.
“To be required to do that. I feel like maybe you’re working a little hard for other people,” said Cubrilovic.