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Following is a statement from Christine Owens, Executive Director, National Employment Law Project:

“We are deeply disturbed to learn that the U.S. Department of Labor prepared but then concealed an economic analysis that inconveniently found that workers could lose billions of dollars in wages under a controversial DOL proposal to allow employers to keep their workers’ tips.

“If that weren’t bad enough, the Department then deceptively stated in its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that it is ‘unable to quantify how customers will respond to the proposed regulatory changes’ and ‘currently lacks data to quantify possible reallocations of tips.’

“Such disingenuous actions and statements fly in the face of the transparency needed to ensure that the regulatory process is reasonable, fair and consistent with the law.  More importantly, covering up information about such negative implications for workers and papering over the action with misleading statements violates the agency’s mission ‘to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners . . . .’

“The Department’s cover-up has kept workers and their advocates, along with many other stakeholders, in the dark about critical evidence related to the impact of the proposal, which is already deeply unpopular with voters.  The only appropriate remedy is to withdraw the rule, and NELP calls on the Department of Labor to do so immediately.

“America’s workers deserve a Department of Labor that puts their interests first at every juncture, and comports itself with the integrity and transparency necessary to that end.”