Philadelphia Lawmakers Move Toward Tip Protection For Restaurant Workers

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Philadelphia City Council committee today sided with waiters and waitresses over restaurant owners.   The lawmakers gave initial approval to a bill that stops the practice of credit card fees being deducted from tips.

Testifying at the Rules Committee hearing was Fabricio Rodriguez of the Restaurant Opportunities Center (below), a nonprofit organization that provides help to low-paid restaurant workers.

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tips fabr tv dl Philadelphia Lawmakers Move Toward Tip Protection For Restaurant Workers

(Fabricio Rodriguez of the Restaurant Opportunities Center testifies today before the rules committee of City Council. Photo from City of Phila. TV)


He said the practice of owners deducting credit card fees from a waiter’s tip is a growing concern.

“It’s no different than someone walking into a restaurant, stealing a tip from someone else’s table, and using it to pay for a portion of their meal,” the told the councilmembers.

The measure before Council prohibits such deductions from tips.  No restaurant owners testified.

The Pennsylvania Restaurant Association submitted a letter blaming the practice on the high fees of credit card companies.  The association said that if the measure becomes law, it could put some restaurants out of business.

The committee approved the bill nonetheless, and sent it to the full Council for a vote.  The Nutter administration supports the measure.

Reported by Mike Dunn, KYW Newsradio City Hall bureau chief

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  • Right On!

    This matter has to be changed STATE wide. Call your PA State Rep. and support HB 1353.
    First, I’m not sure people are aware that servers make an avg. of $2.83/hr.
    2nd, the employer/business owner CHOOSES to install a credit card machine, NOT the server.
    3rd, depending on the card used, the deduction is 3-4%, thus the server is ultimately received a 17 or 16% tip, respectivcely, based on 20% tip avg.
    COME ON PEOPLE>>> Let’s do something about this! Please! In the meantime, tip in cash!

  • JoAnne

    The establishment owner has to pay a sur-charge on the total debit/credit bill. This fee includes the tip paid to a service worker. The establishent then has to pay employment taxes on that said tip. In addition, the employee pays all state and federal taxes for that income. How may taxes does the government was us to pay?

  • anon513

    99% of the time I ‘do’ pay in cash at restaurants. It’s just a preference of mine. That 1% doesn’t even deserve honorable mention. I think it’s unfair to take their tips like that.

  • anon513

    Well it’s about time the Nutter Administration did something right. When I tip a Waiter or Waitress, I want the whole tip to go to THEM. That’s why I always tip with CASH.

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