by Eliza Relman
The Department of Labor has proposed a new regulation that would allow businesses to collect tips earned by their employees and either redistribute them to non-tipped workers or keep them as part of their own profits.
Critics say that there is nothing in the regulation that would stop business owners from simply seizing their employees' tips and using the extra income to line their own pockets or make capital investments — a practice they call "tip stealing," or wage theft.
Women and people of color are both more likely to be tipped employees and to earn lower wages than white men, so critics say the law would have a disproportionate adverse impact on both, and particularly women.
"What is at stake is the ability of women to support themselves and their families," Sharon Block, executive director of the Labor and Worklife program at Harvard Law School and a former DOL official under the Obama administration, told Business Insider. "People often overlook that minimum wage workers are disproportionately women."