News & Commentary

June 10, 2024

In today’s news and commentary, former President Trump attempts to win over voters with a pledge to eliminate taxation of tips and the Major League Baseball Players Association accuses Bad Bunny’s sports agency of providing clients and prospective clients with improper inducements.

At a campaign rally in Las Vegas, Nevada, former President Donald Trump pledged to eliminate taxes on tipped earnings for hospitality workers. Changes to this wage and the way it is taxed require an act of Congress. The secretary-treasurer of the Culinary Workers Union Local 226, Ted Pappageorge, noted that “relief is definitely needed for tip earners, but Nevada workers are smart enough to know the difference between real solutions and wild campaign promises.” Under current tax law, workers’ tips are taxed at the same rate as their regular income, and many employers report worker tips directly to the IRS. A tipped employee is defined as one that earns more than $30 per month in tips. The Federal tipped minimum wage sits at $2.13 per hour, though employers must supplement where tips received do not bring the worker up to the federal minimum hourly wage. On July 1, 2024, the state of Nevada will institute a uniform minimum wage of $12 an hour regardless of whether workers earn tips or not. In 2025, Congress will have the opportunity to rewrite tax policy. President Biden has called for increasing the minimum wage and eliminating the tipped minimum wage.

The Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) accused a sports agency run by rapper Bad Bunny of “a series of grave violations.” Benito Martinez, who goes by Bad Bunny on stage, co-founded Rimas Sports with two agents in order to represent Latin athletes. The union alleges that the agency gave improper gifts to athletes they were trying to represent, including concert and basketball tickets, as well as a $200,000 interest-free loan and a $19,500 signing gift. All agents working in the MLB must be certified through the MLBPA. The union’s agent regulations stipulate that agents are not allowed to provide or promise to provide any money or other thing of value to any player for the purposes of retaining or recruiting that player. Rimas Sports faces $400,000 fines, while its lead agents are looking at potential years-long suspensions from representing MLB athletes. The agency filed a federal lawsuit in a Puerto Rican District Court accusing the MLBPA of discrimination and bias in its investigation of the agency’s business practices. The agency struck out in its attempts to appeal an arbitrator’s ruling and in obtaining a temporary restraining order that would have allowed the agents to continue representing clients.

Enjoy OnLabor’s fresh takes on the day’s labor news, right in your inbox.