This may not be the best news of the day for restaurant servers in the Grand Valley.

Restaurant servers don't make a large hourly wage, which makes the tips they earn critical to their ability to make a living. Many servers do quite well in earning tips, but now they may have to share that money with their -coworkers.

According to Fox Business News, a new rule change by the Labor Department allows employers to mandate tips earned by the wait staff to be shared by other servers as well as the non-tipped staff such as dishwashers and cooks. The rule is designed to help the restaurant industry which has been hit incredibly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new tip-mandate goes into effect in February but will vary from state to state. Not all restaurants will comply, which means if you are a server, you won't necessarily have to share your tips. It's going to depend on the decision of each individual restaurant.

I'm not a server and have never worked for tips, but, I have to believe that if I was in that situation and I had earned tips based upon my performance, I probably wouldn't be too excited about sharing with co-workers. Just being honest. However, at the same time, I'm sure I would feel bad for my co-workers if I was making a substantially higher wage than they were.

I also understand the position of so many restaurants that have struggled so mightily this past year just trying to stay afloat. Business has been down, which means profits, if any, are also down, and restaurant owners can't just magically cover payroll and pay their bills. The money has to come from somewhere.

But, in the end, I'm afraid I have to side with the servers. You earn the tip money, it's yours, you should keep it. And, perhaps, on a case by case basis, if another individual made a contribution to your performance and the quality of service that was given, it would definitely be appropriate to share a little of your tip with that person.

I'm not sure what the solution is, but I believe there has to be a better way to help the restaurant industry than taking away the hard-earned tip money of Grand Junction servers.

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