Today, October 3, 2014, the Workers’ Center of CNY (alongside members of the Workers’ Center of Tompkins County, Citizen Action, the NYS Labor Religion Coalition, and other unaffiliated workers and advocates) spoke out at a public hearing organized in order to Raise the Sub-Minimum Wage for Tipped Workers!
Did you know that restaurant workers are allowed to be paid a sub-minimum wage by restaurants in New York (in addition to 43 other states nationwide)? Right now, in the State of New York, the tipped minimum wage for servers is $5/hour ($5.65 for delivery drivers). (The Federal Minimum Wage for tipped workers is even lower, at $2.13/hour!) Have you ever wondered why the restaurant industry has been given this special dispensation by our governments? (The NYS minimum wage for most workers is presently $8.00/hour; will go up to $8.75 on 12/31/14; and $9.00/hour on 12/31/15. Find complete summary here; also for restaurant workers).
Although employers are legally required to “top off” a tipped worker’s pay when it doesn’t meet the regular minimum wage, enforcement is so lax and disorganized that what’s being called “wage theft” — employers violating minimum wage, overtime, and other wage and hour laws —has reached epidemic levels.
You can submit an online comment to the Wage Board, demanding that they raise the sub-minimum wage to what the NYS minimum wage is, by clicking here http://labor.ny.gov/workerprotection/laborstandards/wageboard2014.shtm/ Also, please sign the Tompkins County Worker Center petition at http://afl.salsalabs.com/o/4023/c/200/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=9123 that demands that all workers receive the Minimum Wage, not sub-minimum wages!!
Citizen Action member Louise Poindexter shared her experience as a working mom. Support Louise and the 229,000 tipped workers who are making just $5 an hour. Tell the Wage Board that New Yorkers deserve #1FairWage!