Federal Updates - Tip Pooling and ADA Website Case

Oct 8

Association Praises DOL on Tip Pooling Rule

As you may have heard, the Department of Labor recently issued a final proposed rule regarding tip pooling. The proposed rule announced is a victory for the National Restaurant Association, the Restaurant Law Center and industry advocates who have worked for years to force government to provide much-needed clarity for restaurants and their workers. In a statement to several national media outlets, Angelo Amador, Restaurant Law Center Executive Director said, “We commend the U.S. Department of Labor for providing much need regulatory clarity on these issues for employers and employees.”

The Association also noted that the rule “establishes once and for all an appropriate balance, and ends arbitrary and capricious regulations discretely slipped into practice by the prior administration without appropriate public comment and review. And, it pointed out that “the rule provides important guidance including allowing restaurants that do not count tips as part of a wage, to pool tips and share with back of the house employees. It also ends the prior 80/20 rule that governed how and when tips can be counted as part of a server’s wages when doing side work. Importantly, the rule would not change the tip pooling requirements for those restaurants that count tips as a part of wages and utilize a tip credit. “

SCOTUS Declines to Hear ADA Website Case

The U.S. Supreme Court today declined to hear a case on an issue in which the Restaurant Law Center, the Association's legal affiliate, has long been engaged and filed several amicus briefs. The case centers around a blind customer who claims a restaurant website did not provide adequate accommodations under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), which prevented him from ordering online a pizza for delivery.

The issue is timely because many restaurant and other public-facing businesses are regularly faced with sue-and-settle tactics from certain attorneys. Restaurant Law Center Executive Director Angelo Amador told Fortune in an article published last week, that “there are many more instances of companies receiving demand letters, and that many agree to pay $10,000 or $20,000 or more to avoid going to court. He pointed out that the business community is especially frustrated over the absence of guidance from the Justice Department over how to provide accommodations under ADA. He noted that the Obama Administration had promised to issue rules on how companies can address the issue but the rules never materialized and the Trump Administration has cancelled the process established by its predecessors.

The Supreme Court's refusal to hear the appeal means that the case heads back to Federal District Court for trial. The Association and the Restaurant Law Center will continue to remain engaged on this case as it begins a more lengthy trial process. The case in question is Robles v. Domino’s Pizza LLC.”




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