MEDIA ADVISORY FOR December 12, 2017

December 12 Capitol Press Briefing: Advocates, Members of Congress Respond to Trump DOL’s Rule Allowing Employers to Take Ownership of Workers' Tips

Washington, DC--Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United, together with the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) and the National Employment Law Project (NELP) will host a press briefing at Senate Dirksen Building about the Department of Labor's recently proposed rule to make tips the property of employers, and the impact of the rule on restaurant workers’ wages and rights.

The rule would allow employers to take control of their workers' tips, if the  employer pays workers the full minimum wage. At the briefing, ROC will review its recent report on the history, background, and impact of the proposed rule, and the Economic Policy Institute will release their findings on research conducted into how much money will be shifted  from workers to employers as a result of the  rule.  Recent research conducted by EPI finds that restaurant industry workers are more likely than workers in any other industry to experience minimum wage violations, and other research on workers in three large U.S. cities (Chicago, Las Angeles, and New York) finds that 12 percent of tipped workers had tips stolen by their employer or supervisor. Under the Department of Labor's proposed rule, employers would be granted a legal avenue to take ownership of tips earned by their employees.

Who: Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United, Economic Policy Institute, National Employment Law Project, Good Jobs Nation, and Congressmembers, including:

  • Saru Jayaraman, ROC United
  • Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
  • Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN)
  • Trupti Patel, Server, ROC-DC Member
  • Heidi Shierholz, Economic Policy Institute
  • Judi Conti, National Employment Law Project
  • Paco Fabian, Good Jobs Nation
  • Thea Bryan, Bartender, ROC-DC Member


What: Press Briefing

When: 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM, December 12, 2017

Where: 608 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C., 20002


This rule, backed by the National Restaurant Association, is just another attempt to keep workers' wages low by allowing employers to keep workers’ hard-earned tips. . More information about impact of the proposed rule is available from ROC United and EPI.


About Restaurant Opportunities Centers United

Co-founded by leading workers’ rights advocates Fekkak Mamdouh and Saru Jayaraman (“One of the top 50 most influential people in the restaurant industry” – Nation’s Restaurant News), ROC United ( has nearly 25,000 worker members, more than 200 restaurant employer members (, and several thousand consumer members ( nationwide, winning over 20 worker-led campaigns, and recovering over $10 million in stolen tips and wages. Read more about raising wages in the restaurant industry in Saru Jayaraman’s new book Forked: A New Standard for American Dining at @rocunited #rocunited #1fairwage


About the Economic Policy Institute

The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) is an independent, nonprofit think tank that researches the impact of economic trends and policies on working people in the United States. EPI’s research helps policymakers, opinion leaders, advocates, journalists, and the public understand the bread-and-butter issues affecting ordinary Americans. By identifying trends and tracking them to their policy causes, EPI provides a roadmap becoming an America where hard-working low-wage employees earn enough to make a living, the middle class is strong and healthy, and workers who help our economy grow share in its prosperity. Learn more at