The New York State Department of Labor Wage Board has voted on recommendations to the way tipped employees are paid in New York. For the most part, it’s devastating news for business owners. The silver lining is that the NYS Restaurant Association successfully stopped a hard push by activists and labor groups who attempted to eliminate the tip credit all together, for now.
The votes taken up by the Wage Board today:
A motion to recommend uniform tip amounts and criteria for all tipped workers in the hospitality industry, so that the same rates apply to food service workers, service employees and service employees in resort hotels.
A motion to recommend an increase in the tipped cash wage amounts from their current rates of $4.90, $5.00 and $5.65, which have not increased since 2011, to $7.50 per hour, effective December 31, 2015.
A motion to recommend that, if the legislature enacts a separate minimum wage rate for New York City, then the cash wage for such workers be increased by one dollar, effective on the date that such separate minimum wage rate for New York City takes effect.
A motion to recommend a review of whether the system of cash wages and tip credits should be eliminated.
A motion to recommend that, effective December 31, 2015, the tip allowance be increased by $1.00 per hour when the weekly average of cash wages and tips equals or exceeds the applicable hourly minimum wage rate by 150% in New York City or 120% in the rest of the state.
The Wage Board will now submit a report to the Commissioner of the Dept. Of Labor with these recommendations. There will be a public comment period, then the Commission will either approve, reject, or amend the proposal.