Over the past few months, the Department of Labor has been pushing a rule that would rescind longstanding regulations that make it harder for employers to take tips from their workers. On Wednesday, Bloomberg Law reported that Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta went over the head of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) to hide internal data showing that the new tip-sharing rule would allow businesses to steal $640 million in tips from their workers.
According to Bloomberg Law, Acosta went to Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, who gave the go-ahead for the DOL to remove the internal estimates over the objections of the OIRA staff.
Previously, the DOL found that the total amount that workers could lose out on was actually in the billions, but sources told Bloomberg Law in February that senior department officials “ordered staff to revise the data methodology to lessen the expected impact.” The left-leaning think tank Economic Policy Institute has estimated that workers would lose $5.8 billion—$4.6 billion of which would come from women working in tipped jobs—if the new rule was implemented.
The department offered no substantive comment to Bloomberg. I have also reached out and will update if I hear back.
It sure looks like the DOL, with the aid of Mick “Actually It’s Good to Let Kids Go Hungry” Mulvaney, is trying to cover up the actual impact of the rule. The only reason is because there is no good data to show.