This month the department served notice that it intends to once again allow the practice of tip-pooling, which has been prohibited since 2011. That's fine so long as the change is accompanied by a ban on management taking a cut. Diners tip for food and service, not to help owners defray costs.
The numbers aren’t small: There are 4.3 million "tipped" workers in the U.S., 60 percent of whom are in the restaurant sector, and one estimate is that their employers would keep nearly $6 billion of the $36.4 billion in tips they earn each year. The government hasn't provided its own analysis of the effect of the change.