WASHINGTON -- An Obama-era rule that stopped businesses from sharing tips between servers and non-tipped staff may return under the Trump administration.The Labor Dept. is considering rolling back rules that stopped employers from pooling tips earned by servers and distributing them among employees like cooks, dishwashers and other staff in the back of the house. Or not at all.

  • Tip pooling currently forbidden under 2011 rule
  • Labor Dept. considering rolling back that rule
  • Public comment currently being sought

The new rule would be triggered as long as the employer pays all workers at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

The Obama administration prohibited the practice of tip pooling in 2011. 

Critics say the move allows employers to pocket workers' tip money.

But the Labor Dept. and supporters of the decision say it will ease income inequality between those in the front of the house and those in the back.

The Labor Dept. is currently seeking public comment on the rule proposal. The public will have 30 days to give their input, with the comment period closing on Jan. 4. To comment, head to the U.S. Dept. of Labor website.