The New York State wage board has recommended a $7.50 minimum wage for tipped workers, a move that would nearly double the current minimum if enacted.
Currently, restaurant servers who rely on tips earn a minimum hourly wage of $4.90 in New York State, a number Governor Cuomo called "too low" in a statement yesterday. "Today the Wage Board has recommended a course that begins to rectify that, equalizing wages into a single tipped wage and recommending an increase to the highest-ever wage for all tipped workers," he said.
Of course, the New York State Restaurant Association isn't stoked about a wage hike, and warned of lost jobs and higher menu prices as a result. "Nobody won today," president Melissa Fleischut told the Associated Press. The wage board panel did recommend that employers be able to pay a minimum of $6.50 an hour if they earn 120 percent or more than $7.50 an hour with their wages and tips combined.
Cuomo has also proposed giving New York City the ability to raise its own minimum, which, when combined with the suggested tipped wage increase, would spike tipped wages up to $8.50 an hour. If Cuomo's labor commissioner approves of the wage board's recommendation, the new minimums will be in place starting on December 31st.