Action Needed! Submit Comments on Wage Board Recommendations
Wednesday, February 04, 2015
The Wage Board has officially submitted their recommended changes to the way tipped employees are paid in New York to the Commissioner of Labor for his review. Now, the public is able to submit comments on the proposals to the Commissioner for his consideration. In total, there are five recommendations for the Commissioner to review, and he is able to accept, reject, or modify these proposals. The Commissioner's final review will then go to the Governor to become law.
We only have 15 days until the public comment period is closed so please act immediately! The proposals, which are listed out below, contain a mixed bag for the hospitality industry, but for the most part it's bad news. There are two pieces of good news, the NYS Restaurant Association was able to beat back a razor close effort to eliminate the tip credit completely, and the Wage Board submitted a proposal to allow for a greater tip credit for employees who earn a higher than minimum wage. We need to make sure the Commissioner understands how crucial these points will be for businesses moving forward if the cash wage increases so high, so quickly.
The Wage Board's proposals:
A. The Board recommends 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.
B. The Board recommends 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.
C. The Board recommends 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.
D. The Board recommends a review of whether the system of cash wages and tip credits should be eliminated.
E. The Board recommends 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 NYS Restaurant Association will be submitting our own comments detailing how each of these proposals will effect the hospitality industry, but we need you to do the same to effectively convince the Commissioner that they MUST be rejected or at least amended. We need the entire industry to band together on this one, so please forward this email to non-members and share with anyone who can help.
We will continue to keep you updated throughout the process. If you have questions or need help submitting comments, please email email@example.com
or call 518.452.4222.