Trump's labor chief gets nailed for letting bosses steal workers' tips


Rep. Rosa DeLauro let Labor Secretary Alex Acosta have it over a rule that would allow employers to rip off tipped workers.

Labor Secretary Alex Acosta tried to defend a rule that would allow restaurants to steal workers' tips. But New York Democratic Rep. Rosa DeLauro didn't let him get away with it.

During a House Appropriations Committee hearing, DeLauro demanded answers from Acosta about the rule that would rip off tipped workers. But after several minutes of evasion from Acosta, DeLauro was cleaerly fed up.

"The fact of the matter is that in fact employers will be allowed to pocket the tips of their employees, yes or no?"

But when Acosta tried to demure again, DeLauro shut him down. "So the answer is yes, they can pocket those."

DeLauro asked whether the Labor Department had ever done a quantitative analysis of the rule. But Acosta again offered nothing but evasions, each prefaced with a condescending "Ranking Member DeLauro ..."

"I know my name," DeLauro responded. "Was there an analysis conducted, yea or nay?"

Acosta then took several more minutes to explain, in equally condescending fashion, that the answer was no.

"So, we have established that employers can pocket their employees' tips, we have also established that there was no quantifiable analysis," DeLauro said. And she noted that the public had been denied "the chance to comment on the full effects of the proposed tip-sharing rule."

"Finally, will you withdraw the notice of proposed rule-making, yes or no?" DeLauro asked.

"No," Acosta replied with a thin smile.

In February, attorneys general from 17 states signed a letter to Acosta condemning the proposed rule change. And reports show that the Trump administration deliberately withheld data that showed billions of dollars in tips could be taken from workers.

The proposed rule received over 385,000 comments, without the data that DeLauro asked about.

Time after time, the Trump administration has made clear that it stands with wealthy businesses over American workers. But Democrats like DeLauro will continue to hold them to account for it.