Employers to be banned from taking employee tips

Gratuities can still be pooled, redistributed in Ont.

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TORONTO – The Ontario legislature is expected to pass a bill this afternoon that will make it illegal for employers to take a share of servers’ tips.

The Protecting Employees’ Tips Act, a Liberal private member’s bill that was introduced after several attempts from the NDP to get a similar law through, is set to pass third reading today.

It would ban employers from withholding their employees’ tips, except temporarily if they are pooling all of the gratuities to redistribute them among all employees.

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The idea was brought forward years ago by Michael Prue, an NDP MPP who lost in the 2014 election, and picked up by Arthur Potts, the Liberal MPP who defeated him.

Potts says he has heard stories of employers taking 25 or even 50 per cent from the tip pool for themselves, and while he says it’s not very widespread, this bill levels the playing field for everyone.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says Potts has “watered down” the law by not banning employers from recovering credit card fees from the tip when a customer pays by credit card.

Potts says that will be defined through regulations.

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