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Chris Nickels Quoted in Article About Department of Labor 80/20 Tip Credit Rule

Back of House

Milwaukee-based Labor & Employment partner Chris Nickels offered insight about the Department of Labor’s revived 80/20 tip credit rule for the hospitality industry in a recent Back of House article.

The article lays out key issues the hospitality industry needs to consider with the rule. Following is an excerpt from the article:

Technically, the 80/20 tip credit rule isn’t actually written into law. Read the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and you won’t see anything about it.

“The idea of the 80/20 rule has a bit of a tortured history,” says Chris Nickels, labor and employment attorney and partner of Quarles and Brady. “It was developed through the DOL, who’s charged with carrying out the FLSA, and they put it in their field operations handbook.”

This makes it more easily subject to litigation. “While the 80/20 rule has been challenged a number of times, if you look back, many courts have upheld the historical 80/20 rule as a reasonable interpretation of the FLSA – the actual law,” says Nickels. “Now they’re making it an administrative agency rule, which is not a law or part of the FLSA, but it’s a rule that essentially carries the force of law.”


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