Changes in tip pooling regulations

Date: April 9th 2018

(Seattle, WA) At their Seattle summit, The Washington Hospitality Association announced that according to U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division, employers who pay the full minimum wage are no longer prohibited from allowing employees who are not customarily and regularly tipped—such as cooks and dishwashers—to participate in tip sharing pools.

The current ruling that made tip pooling illegal was headed to the Supreme Court when the current administration withdrew the mandate.

Washington Hospitality Association President and CEO, Anthony Anton, addressed the conference. He said, “Working in the hospitality industry is being part of a team. All employees are working toward the common goal of providing the best possible customer experience. Allowing all members of the team outside of management to share in the success of the restaurant through tip pooling or tip sharing is truly a win for all employees.”

Said Bret Wirta, CEO of Wirta Hospitality Worldwide and owner of the Black Bear Diner, Sequim, WA, “The change also includes a provision that ensures workers will receive all of their tips. Managers, supervisors, and owners are not allowed to benefit from a tip pool. We fully support that provision.”

Said Anton, “A customer’s overall experience directly affects their total tip, and it makes sense that more than the front of the house employees would benefit. Tip sharing will help close the wage gap among restaurant employees.”

Wirta concluded, “We look forward to our Black Bear Diner line-cooks, prep-cooks and dishwashers sharing in the tips generously left by our customers. These hardworking employees contribute to the overall guest experience, and now thanks to this change, our customers will be assured that when they reward that experience with a tip, the entire team will benefit.”

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