It’s official! The US Department of Labor last week officially amended its Field Operations Handbook relating when and for what work employers could pay workers a subminimum wage (tipped wage). The 80/20 rule, as it became known when it was implemented in 2009, provided that an employee could not be paid the lower tipped wage for the time spent performing non-tipped functions, such as setting tables, cleaning, etc. if the aggregate time they spent on those duties exceeded 20 percent of their working hours. The change was actually implemented by a draft guidance issued in November, but that draft is now confirmed. There is still a fly in the ointment however, in that two court cases have upheld the ‘80/20’ rule in the past, so at some point, those cases will need to be technically overturned in the courts. Notwithstanding, employers may claim a tip credit for tipped employees regardless of the time they spend on non-tipped tasks. We caution our subscribers however that some states (New York in particular) have adopted their own 80/20 rules and those state mandates are unaffected by the DOL guidance.