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Dems want info on Labor Dept hiding unfavorable report on impacts of tip-pooling rule

February 2, 2018
In The News

House Democrats are giving Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta until Monday to hand over the agency’s economic analysis for its proposed tip-pooling rule.

In a letter Friday, Democratic Reps. Bobby Scott (Va.), Keith Ellison (Minn.), Mark Takano and Suzanne Bonamici (Ore.) asked for any and all economic analyses on the effects of the proposed rule and information on who at the Department of Labor was allegedly involved in hiding the findings.

The letter comes after Bloomberg Law reported this week that senior department officials intentionally withheld a report showing workers could lose billions if the agency changes the Fair Labor Standards Act to allow employers to pool tips. The rule would apply to workers who make at least the federal minimum wage — $7.25 an hour — and share them with non-tipped workers.

In the letter, the lawmakers asked for a copy of each and every draft, interim, proposed or completed economic analysis prepared or procured by the commission that’s related to the proposed rule.

They also asked for a list of all the meetings held to discuss whether to include or exclude the analysis and the names of Labor Department officials involved in those meetings.

Workers' rights advocates have been arguing since the rule was first proposed that it would allow employers to pocket a portion of the tips workers receive. 

Workers who make less than the federal minimum wage and earn tips to supplement their pay were not part of the proposal.