Waiters and bartenders could be forced to hand over their tips under a proposed Trump administration rule

  • The Trump administration proposed a rule that would force waiters and bartenders to share their tips.
  • Opponents of the rule fear that restaurant employers would pocket most of the tip money for themselves.
  • One estimate pegged the amount employers could keep at $5.8 billion.

Restaurant servers could see their paychecks take a hit if a newly proposed Trump-administration policy goes through.

The Department of Labor proposed this month to roll back a 2011 Obama-era policy, The Fair Labor Standards Act, that allows restaurant employees to keep their tips instead of having to share them with their non-tipped employees.

Forcing servers to pool their tips could redirect some of their earnings to non-tipped workers, such as the line cooks who make hourly wages. However, opponents of the measure fear it will lead to employers pocketing the shared tip money for themselves.

RELATED: Check out the dirtiest places in every restaurant:

These Are the 11 Dirtiest Things in Every Restaurant
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These Are the 11 Dirtiest Things in Every Restaurant

Read on to learn what the 11 dirtiest things in every restaurant are.


While the toilet usually gets cleaned regularly, it’s still obviously not something you really want to be touching with your hands. A study found that there are 295 bacteria on every square inch of the toilet seat, and 3.2 million inside the bowl itself.

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An investigation into fast food restaurants in the U.S. found that 70 percent of the ice in the ice machine contained more bacteria than the water in the toilet.

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Bathroom Floor

Public restroom floors have been found to contain about 2 million bacteria per square inch.

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Some icky news: menus are rarely if ever given a thorough cleaning, especially if they’re paper. Recently, Good Morning America sent a team to swab items on the tables of 12 restaurants, and they discovered that menus carried the most germs, averaging 185,000 bacteria.

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The average bathroom doorknob gets cleaned daily (or as often as the bathroom is cleaned), but by the time dinner service rolls around it’s usually filthy again. As for the main entrance door handle… don’t ask.

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Salt and Pepper Shakers, Ketchup Bottles

The items that remain on the tables throughout all of service can get quite a germy buildup over the course of the day. Ever notice that they’re sometimes sticky? Yeah, you don’t want to be touching these very much.

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Lemon Wedges

The lemons that garnish your Diet Coke and limes that get muddled into your mojito most likely weren’t washed first, and they’ve been sitting all day (or sometimes longer) in the open tray on the bar before the bartender touches them with his bare hands. If you squeeze the lemon into your soda, don’t toss it into your drink.

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Salad Bar Tongs

These are rarely replaced during service, and are handled by everyone else who approaches the salad bar. They’re basically as dirty as the toilet flush handle.

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What’s the first thing people usually touch after using the toilet? The sink faucet. Here’s a tip: Wash your hands, grab some paper towels, dry your hands, turn off the water and open the door with the towel in your hand, hold the door open with your leg and toss the towel into the trash. No contact = clean hands.

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Rims of Glasses

If you ever see a server hand you a drink with their fingers on the rim of the glass, request a new drink. As a rule of thumb, always drink from a straw at a restaurant.

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Sure, tables get a wipe-down between customers, but have you ever seen the ratty old rag that they usually use? All is basically does is spread the gunk around. If any of your food touches the table, consider it a goner.

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The proposed regulations are "not just about sharing tips with the back-of-the-house staff — that part would be OK — but employers would have the right to decide what to do with the tips," Saru Jayaraman, president of Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, an advocacy group for restaurant workers, told The Washington Post.

In fact, if the proposal becomes law, employers could pocket $5.8 billion of workers' tips nationwide, according to an estimate from the left-leaning think tank Economic Policy Institute. 

"This rule will result in a substantial shift of tips from workers to employers," a report from the think tank said.

According to Reuters, The Supreme Court is considering whether to review a challenge to the Obama-administration tip-pooling ban by the National Restaurant Association and other groups.

NOW WATCH: The ultimate guide to tipping in almost any situation

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