Department of Labor Deflates the 80/20 Rule & Inflates the Tip Pool

Executive Summary: On Monday, October 7, 2019, the Department of Labor (DOL) proposed a new 80/20 rule and tip pooling regulation. First, the proposed regulation, if finalized, will permit employers to take a tip credit regardless of the amount of non-tip generating work (such as cleaning tables or folding napkins) a tipped employee performs as long as it is performed contemporaneously with his/her tipped duties, or within a reasonable time immediately before or after performing tipped duties. Second, the proposed regulation eliminates some regulatory restrictions regarding tip pooling when the employer does not take a tip credit. If the proposed rule is finalized, employers who do not take a tip credit will be permitted to include “back-of-the-house” employees who usually do not receive tips (such as cooks and dishwashers) as part of a tip pool. Lastly, the existing rule prohibiting employers from keeping employees’ tips or participating in tip-pooling arrangements will remain. Continue reading

U.S. Department of Labor’s New Guidance, Compliance Tool, and Leadership

Adams, Julie 300dpi
Julie Adams

February has been a busy month for the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”).  The Wage and Hour Division (“WHD”) published new guidance addressing tipped employees and payment of subminimum wages and released a new compliance tool.  The DOL also named a new Acting Wage and Hour Administrator.  Employers should review these new publications and developments for applicability to their workforce: Continue reading

Out With The Old; In With The Original: DOL Re-issues 2009 Tip Credit Guidance

Briit, Louis - 300dpi
Louis Britt

On November 8, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) re-issued an opinion letter abandoning the “80/20 Rule,” which prohibited employers from taking a tip credit if a tipped employee spent more than 20% of his or her working time on non-tipped work.

The opinion letter is a re-issuance of one previously published on January 16, 2009 by the Bush administration.  The letter, however, was withdrawn once President Obama took office. The DOL’s new guidance provides restaurant and hospitality employers with clarity and a more practical approach defining when a tip credit can be taken. Continue reading