Murray announces deal with DOL to protect workers’ tips

The following is from U.S. Sen Patty Murray (D-WA):

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 22, 2018) — U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced an agreement Wednesday with Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta to fix the Trump administration’s proposed tip rule, so that employers are not able to pocket workers’ tips and keep them for themselves.

“When President Trump proposed a rule that would have allowed corporations to pocket workers’ tips for themselves, workers across the country organized and made their voices heard,” Murray said. “Those workers sent the Trump Administration a message — and I’m pleased that Secretary Acosta listened, reversed course, and worked with me on legislation to make sure that big businesses can’t steal their workers’ tips. For the millions of workers who rely on their tips to pay their bills and support their families, most of whom are women, this change comes as a sigh of relief.”

The deal prohibits employers from pocketing workers’ tips, including taking tips to pay managers and supervisors. It gives workers the right to sue to recover any stolen tips with added damages — regardless of how much they are paid — and gives the Secretary of Labor the ability to sue to recover tips and to impose civil penalties against employers who steal tips.

Here is a brief timeline of Senator Murray’s work to hold the Trump administration accountable for their harmful rule:

Dec. 4, 2017 — Senator Murray released the following statement when the Trump administration announced it was considering rescinding the Obama administration tip rule:

“For the millions of working families who believed President Trump would build an economy that works for them, those campaign promises now ring hollow. Workers in the restaurant industries—the majority of whom are women — rely on hard-earned tips to pay their bills and make ends meet, so I’m disappointed the Trump Administration is once again rolling back protections and allowing employers to steal money from their employees. If President Trump truly wanted to help more working families become financially secure, he would abandon these efforts and start promoting policies that will help working families save more money in the bank — including raising the minimum wage, updating overtime protections, and of course, allowing workers to keep the tips they’ve earned through their hard work.”

Jan. 9, 2018 — Senator Murray sent a letter to Secretary Acosta asking for all qualitative or quantitative analysis on the impacts of DOL’s proposed tip rule on tipped workers. DOL did not provide any data.

Feb. 1, 2018 — Senator Murray released the following statement when news broke that DOL covered up its own data showing its proposed tip rule would allow employers to steal potentially billions of dollars in tips from their workers. This is the data Senator Murray requested in on 1/9, but did not receive.

“This botched cover-up of evidence proving President Trump’s policies help businesses steal billions from workers shows exactly what President Trump truly cares about: helping those at the top squeeze every last penny from families trying as hard as they can to get ahead. Now that their real priorities have been exposed, President Trump should tell Secretary Acosta to abandon this effort immediately.”

Feb. 2, 2018 — Senator Murray sent a letter to DOL Inspector General Scott Dahl requesting an investigation into the reports that DOL hid the economic data showing how its proposed rule affects workers. On February 5, Inspector Dahl informed Senator Murray that his office was looking into the reports.

Feb. 6, 2018 — Senator Murray and 123 Democrats submitted a public comment urging Secretary Acosta to withdraw his proposed tip rule.

Feb. 7, 2018 — Led by Senator Murray, 24 Senate Democrats wrote to Secretary Acosta slamming DOL’s decision to cover up evidence showing its proposed tip rule would result in employers stealing potentially billions of dollars from their workers.

Early March — Senator Murray began conversations with Secretary Acosta to push him to reverse course on President Trump’s tip rule, and he offered to work with her on a deal that would prohibit employers from stealing workers’ tips to keep for themselves.

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