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PNS Daily Newscast - February 23, 2018 


As the NRA doubles down on "good guys with guns," the Broward County Sheriff admits an armed deputy did not engage with the Parkland school shooter. Also on our nationwide rundown: workers across the nation will spend part of their weekend defending the American Dream; and a study says the Lone Star State is distorting Texas history lessons.

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New Trump Tip Rules Could Mean Lower Pay for Women Waiting Tables

What restaurant servers think about tip-pooling could determine how they'll feel about a Labor Department proposal giving employers the right to make workers hand over their tip income. (Pixabay)
What restaurant servers think about tip-pooling could determine how they'll feel about a Labor Department proposal giving employers the right to make workers hand over their tip income. (Pixabay)
January 22, 2018

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — New research says the take-home pay for women who wait tables in West Virginia could go from bad to worse if a proposed Trump administration rule is adopted.

The Department of Labor wants to rescind Obama-era rules barring employers from making workers hand over their tip income. A report by the Economic Policy Institute says the change could cost tipped workers $4.6 billion a year.

Study co-author Heidi Shierholz said women would take 80 percent of the hit.

"Tipped workers are going to see a huge hit to their take-home pay, and employers will be enriched," Shierholz said. "Because the vast majority of tipped workers are women, because women earn lower wages, they are far more disproportionately harmed by this rule."

The administration defends the change as a fairness issue, saying it will facilitate tip pooling, where businesses like restaurants share the wait staff's tips with other workers, like dishwashers and cooks. However, nothing in the rule prevents employers from simply pocketing the tips, as long as everyone makes at least minimum wage.

The public comment period on regulations.gov ends February 5.

If West Virginia waitstaff get tips, restaurant owners can pay them 70 percent of the state minimum wage of $8.75 an hour. Under the new rule, any tips that raise the employee's pay above the minimum could be collected by the owners.

Shierholz said she thinks the rule change won’t end up helping non-tipped workers, either.

"They're already paying those workers what they need to get workers in those jobs,” she said. “And so, if they do share any tips with workers at the back of the house, it will very likely be offset with declines in their base pay."

She added the administration didn't conduct an economic analysis of this rule change, which is required by law. That could become the basis of a lawsuit to stop the change - if the administration finalizes the rule.

Dan Heyman, Public News Service - WV