Victory for Tipped Workers As Proposal to Steal Tips Is Defeated

By Oxfam

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Omnibus budget bill to include protections to prevent employers from taking tips.

Oxfam praised members of Congress for their efforts to include a in the omnibus budget bill that, if enacted, secures protections for tipped restaurant workers against employers, supervisors, and managers taking any portion of their tips. 

“Workers earn their tips through hard work in sometimes arduous conditions-- and those tips are an absolutely vital part of their income,” said Minor Sinclair, director of the Oxfam US program. “This provision will reassure workers that their labor is crucial and that hard work is rewarded. This is especially important to women workers, who make up the majority of the tipped wage workforce.”

Such protection is necessary in order to counter efforts from the Department of Labor, with support from the National Restaurant Association, to explore ways that allow employers to confiscate and hold onto the tips of their workers.

The effort to oppose the proposed rule at the Department of Labor drew broad and sustained support from many organizations, countless workers, and hundreds of thousands of people. to oppose the proposal.  Around 350,000 workers, employers and consumers submitted public comments (the vast majority opposing the rule), testified on Capitol Hill, and participated in actions in front of U.S. Labor Department buildings in 20 cities nationwide.

“It is shameful that the restaurant industry sought to secure the right to take away tips but so heartening to see how many people spoke up about the injustice of this proposal,” continued Sinclair.