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A new study shows the costs of the Trump Department of Labor’s due order that would allow employers to steal workers’ tips, and they’re huge. The Economic Policy Institute estimates that employers would take $5.8 billion from workers—after all, tip burglary isn’t allowed now but it’s still sincerely common: “Research on workers in 3 vast U.S. cities (Chicago, Los Angeles and New York) finds that 12 percent of sloping workers had tips stolen by their employer or supervisor.”
As you competence imagine, Team Trump has not accurately led with this information. In fact, the EPI’s Heidi Shierholz tells Jared Bernstein in the Washington Post, the Trump Department of Labor isn’t even doing the unclothed minimum to let the open know what outcome this offer would have:
In a deeply surprising move, DOL did not yield an guess of the volume of tips that will be eliminated from workers to employers (which is one reason we did so). This is surprising since agencies are required by law as a partial of the rulemaking slight to consider all quantifiable costs and advantages to the fullest border possible. DOL could have constructed an estimate; at EPI, we constructed an guess in reduction than two weeks using slight procedures and holding a methodological proceed that is in accurately the same suggestion of estimates the Department of Labor produces all the time [Note: Shierholz was before arch economist for the DOL]. Why didn’t DOL furnish an estimate? To ask the doubt is to answer it; any good-faith guess would have shown this order will outcome in a estimable change of tips from workers to employers and the DOL under President Trump — and Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta — is trying to censor that fact.1
That’s the Trump administration three-step for you: confirm to do a bad thing, distortion about what its effects will be, and dress the law to equivocate transparency. At potentially outrageous cost to workers, in this case.
Laura Clawson is the Labor editor at Daily Kos Labor, and a contributing editor at Daily Kos.