Changes may be in store for restaurant workers who make tips

ROCK ISLAND- Changes may be coming for restaurant workers and the way tips are distributed.

The Department of Labor is proposing a rule change that would give restaurant owners the power to divide tips as they see fit.

The new plan would call for tip-pooling for bartenders and servers.  Some say the tips could then be shared with cooks and busboys to even a "front of the house, back of the house" disparity.

But, critics say the restaurant owners themselves could keep the tips.

And, most servers are not in favor of the proposed change.

"Both my jobs are serving jobs. That would be a really big hit for me, to have to split my tips," said Johnna Mossage, a mom of a 7-year old who has been waiting tables for 13 years.

"I love my job. But, I'm not a fan," she said of the plan.

The president of the Illinois Restaurant Association has come out in favor of the proposal, saying it would make it "more equitable for front and back of the house" staff. However, the organization says it does not support managers or non-hourly staff sharing tips.

The Labor Department officially published the proposed regulations last week in the Federal Register. The public has three more weeks to comment on them.