Restaurant workers, CT senator condemn Trump plan involving tips - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Restaurant workers, CT senator condemn Trump plan involving tips

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A proposed rule would allow employers to pocket their employees' tips (WFSB file photo) A proposed rule would allow employers to pocket their employees' tips (WFSB file photo)
Sen. Richard Blumenthal joined a fight with restaurant workers against a Trump Administration plan to give companies complete control of tips. (WFSB) Sen. Richard Blumenthal joined a fight with restaurant workers against a Trump Administration plan to give companies complete control of tips. (WFSB)
MIDDLETOWN, CT (WFSB) -

A proposed rule by the Trump administration would allow employers to pocket their employees' tips.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal joined restaurant workers to decry President Donald Trump's plan on Monday.

He held a news conference at ION Restaurant on Main Street in Middletown at noon.

The Trump administration argues that the plan will give companies the ability to give low wage workers like dishwashers and line cooks a cut of the money.

Opponents, however, said the proposal would give those companies complete control over the money, which then may not end up in employees' pockets.

"For an owner to collect all the tips and distribute it as they please, I think that's absolutely unjust," said Matt Banta, a server at ION in Middletown.

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Blumenthal said recent reports indicated that the Department of Labor concealed evidence from the public that showed Trump's proposed tip rule would result in employees losing billions of dollars in tips.

"It should be abandoned. If not we will fight it in court. Connecticut's experience shows that workers and servers who received these tips benefit from them," Blumenthal said.

He added that those who would be affected are low-wage workers, many of whom are women, who struggle to support themselves and their families.

He said they experience poverty rates twice as high as rates for all working people.

As a restaurant owner, Renana McGee is strongly against this plan but understands some employers may like it.

"It's not fair to steal tips from servers, they are dealing with humans out front. Humans can be difficult,” said McGee, who owns ION.

Sara Dodge is also a server and feels if customers know their tip is not going to the restaurant and not the person who waited on them, they may tip less, and says tip pooling may also affect the service itself.

"In the place where we pooled tips, I would work extremely hard and I would watch other servers would pocket cash because they know they are going to take that home at the end of the night, which affects everyone. It encourages laziness, it’s not a good system,” Dodge said.

Some have gone as far as saying this will hurt women because there are more women servers. 

Both senators Blumenthal and Murphy have sent letters to the Department of Labor expressing their concerns.

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  • Should restaurants have control over the tips their wait staffs receive?

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