Restaurants weigh in on tips proposal from Department of Labor

Restaurants weigh in on tips proposal from Department of Labor

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – A proposal from the United States Department of Labor aims to decrease wage differences between tipped and non-tipped workers by allowing employers to have the freedom to pool tips.

The proposal said this would only apply to places where employers pay a full minimum wage and don't take a tip credit.

Merita Asllanaj, the owner and server at Donald’s Pancake House in Myrtle Beach, said they’re concerned sharing tips could lead to a decline in a person’s business.

Asllanaj said she thinks the proposal could lead to some waitstaff not working as hard for their money, leaving them to deliver subpar service.

"For me and for everybody, it's the hardest thing because we have servers that are working harder and faster. So one, they are just taking two or three tables,” Asllanaj said. “They are slow and not working. To collect the money from everybody and to split the money, it's not worth it.”

Terrie Rendon, a server at the restaurant for eight years, said she works very hard for her money.

"I try to please my customers every day and I do a good job, so at the end of the day if I work harder than some other ones, I don't think it's right to combine the tips," Rendon said.

In 2011, the option to share tips was restricted and, according to a previous press release, this rule has been challenged in different courts.

It would also not affect the current rules applicable to employees that claim their tip credit under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Over the last few years, multiple states have changed laws making it so employers have to pay tipped employees direct cash wage at least the federal minimum wage, which is currently $7.25.

This means fewer employees can take the tip credit, according to the press release.

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