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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