Feb. 1, 2018

Labor Department Cover-Up of Tip Data Should Be Investigated

Statements of Public Citizen Experts

Note: Bloomberg is reporting that the U.S. Department of Labor has omitted key data from a controversial new tip pooling proposal, hiding from the public estimates of gratuities that employees could be cheated out of by employers.

“The Department of Labor under the Trump administration already has demonstrated that handouts to employers take precedence over workers’ health, safety and economic security. At every turn, the department has made it harder, not easier, for hardworking Americans to earn a decent wage. Along with efforts to weaken the overtime and fiduciary rules, hiding economic data that proves the tipped wage rule rollback is a bad deal for restaurant workers is just another example that the department’s mission under President Donald Trump is to please corporate interests, not protect workers.”

-Shanna Devine, worker health and safety advocate, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division

“When its own data showed that its proposed rule on tips would enable employers to steal billions from employees, did the Department of Labor abandon the proposed rule? No, of course not. It covered up the data. It is astonishing and deeply troubling that the department would intentionally hide economic data that shows just how much restaurant workers stand to lose to their employers if the Trump administration rescinds the tipped wage rule. This administration has pledged that its regulatory rollbacks would be firmly grounded in economic analysis and has falsely criticized the Obama administration for not doing so. Yet this news makes clear that this administration is more than willing to throw economic analysis out the window when it is politically inconvenient.

“With the truth emerging, it’s time for the department to release the data, rescind its proposal and launch an investigation into the cover-up.”

- Amit Narang, regulatory policy advocate, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division

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