Wage Increases Coming for Tipped Workers in New York

In a very courageous push by New York State legislators and the Governor, New York has finally made a move to provide higher wages for the state’s lowest-paid workers. This new regulation will most benefits servers, which include, waiters, waitresses and others who work for tips, and will be soon be receiving a raise of their minimum wage to $7.50 an hour.

This increase will go in effect at the end of 2015. The regulation will result in the merger of three categories of tipped workers — whose minimum hourly wages range from $4.90 to $5.65 — into a single class to be paid at least $7.50 an hour.

The restaurant industry has quickly criticized the wage increase as too large and counterproductive. Major complaints have revolved around owners claiming that they will not be able to absorb the cost increase or pass all of it along to their customers in the form of price increases. They further claim that this increase will lead to layoffs. Personally, I would be comfortable with paying a little extra for my meal knowing that the workers serving me will not require living hand to mouth.

Additionally, the statewide minimum wage for non-tipped workers is scheduled to rise to $9.00 an hour, from $8.75, at the end of the year. Despite this being $2.25 more than the Federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, this increase pales in comparison to other metropolitan cities around the country that have elected to increase their minimum wage to levels that allow workers to live above the poverty line when working a full time schedule. We should look to follow suit.

The New York minimum wage and overtime attorneys of Risman & Risman, P.C. are ready to aggressively pursue your wage claim. There is no charge for the consultation. Please feel free to call us at (212) 233-6400 or contact us online.

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