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New tip rules likely won’t make big waves

Bartender Brittany Hays helps serve Ed and Ann Niemann, of Beaver, on the outdoor patio at The Harmony Inn on Friday in Harmony. Joseph Ressler/Butler Eagle

CRANBERRY TWP — Pennsylvania’s new tipped workers regulations, an update to the state’s Minimum Wage Act, will likely change little, according to Bob McCafferty, owner of North Country Brewing in Slippery Rock and Harmony Inn in Harmony.

The new regulations, which go into effect Aug. 5, largely align the state’s rules with those of the federal government’s, while also changing the amount of money in tips each month an employee must receive to be considered a “tipped employee,” prohibiting employers from deducting payment processing fees from tips and requiring employers clarify that service charges are not tips.

“We don’t see it as an issue,” McCafferty said. “What PA is doing is what the federal government’s already done, and began enforcing in December.”

Those federal regulations, which are now included in Pennsylvania’s rules include the “80/20 rule” — requiring employees spend 80% of their work time “on duties that directly generate tips” in order to be considered tipped workers — and allowing tip pooling among employees while in most cases excluding managers, supervisors and owners.

McCafferty said he doesn’t see the new regulations “as a burden,” noting earlier rumors about updated Department of Labor & Industry regulations included more radical changes.

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