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Minimum wage Tip Credit vs. Increased Minimum Wage

A discussion is underway in NYS that will ultimately decide whether restaurant servers will continue to rely on the minimum wage tip credit, or whether they will soon rely solely on an increased minimum wage. 

Governor Andrew Cuomo is in the process of analyzing the pros and cons of the system, as it stands, versus the possible new standard. He has asked the Department of Labor to weigh in on the subject.

According to advocates for keeping the minimum wage tip credit in place, some restaurants in NYS have experimented with eliminating tips in lieu of an increased minimum wage, before reverting back to the “tried and true” tipping method after receiving complaints from employees who said that the shift resulted in a decrease in pay. 

New York State Restaurant Association (NYSRA) President and CEO Melissa Fleischut is currently hosting meetings with restaurants/servers in Buffalo and Rochester, to get their take on the decision at hand. 

In a recent media release, announcing that the NYSRA was conducting the meetings, it was noted that the state of Maine has already gone down a similar road when it comes to the debate between tipping and increased minimum wage. After doing away with the tip credit system, the decision was reversed less than a year later, due to restaurant employees “organizing en masse” to oppose the changes, which left them with smaller paychecks. 

In order to be proactive on the issue, NYSRA is conducting its own research, in response to Cuomo’s latest action that threatens to eliminate the tip credit system.

Lead image: exchangeforfood

Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

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