COOKING THE BOOKS

Report: Top Labor Dept. Officials Hid ‘Uncomfortable’ Data About Tip Pooling

Top officials at the U.S. Department of Labor shelved data that revealed “potentially billions of dollars in gratuities” would be transferred from workers to their employers under a Trump administration proposal for tip pooling, according to Bloomberg Law. Citing four unnamed current and former Labor staffers, the report says senior political officials scrubbed the data from a December proposal to scrap an Obama-era rule that banned arrangements in restaurants that allow management to participate in the pool and skim tips from workers. Upon seeing that billions would be transferred to businesses under the proposal, senior political officials are said to have ordered the data methodology to be revised to “lessen the expected impact.” The sources told Bloomberg Law the new data was still too uncomfortable to publish for officials, including Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, and they got White House approval to remove the data altogether in the report.