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Restaurant Tipping Toronto

Should servers have to tip out restaurant managers?

Michael Prue, the NDP MPP for Beaches-East York, has announced on his website this week that he plans to reintroduce Private Member's Bill 144, an amendment to The Employment Standards Act, 2000, to prohibit restaurant owners and managers from taking servers' tips.

The Protecting Employees' Tips Act aims to make it illegal for any foodservice employers to demand any portion of the gratuities earned by their staff.

Prue actually brought the Bill forward once previously and it was referred to a Standing Committee of the Legislature for public consultation with fairly wide-spread support by both the Liberal government and the Progressive Conservatives; however, it effectively died when the provincial Legislature was prorogued in June 2011.

According to the statement on his website, Prue hopes to introduce the Bill before this session of Parliament recesses for the summer, likely the week of June 4-7th. He also notes, "We believe that introducing the Bill at this time will improve our chance of successfully banning unfair tip-outs to management. Summertime is peak restaurant season and will give us the most exposure."

Critics to the amendment in its previous incarnation noted that it failed to take into account operational differences between those running restaurants vs. private functions and banquets and that it might negatively impact tip-pooling practices. Some also claimed that it was just another unnecessary regulation in an already extremely regulated industry.

What do you think? Do restaurant owners and management have a right to a portion of servers' tips?

Photo by staceymccool in the blogTO flickr pool.


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