Oaks Announces Public Hearing On Tipped Minimum Wage Increase

March 20, 2018

Assemblyman Bob Oaks (R,C-Macedon) would like all citizens, especially business owners, restaurant and hospitality workers, to be aware that the state is hosting a series of public hearings to examine the impact of the governor’s proposal to eliminate the tipped minimum wage credit.

Currently, food service and other employees who receive tips can be paid an hourly wage of $7.50, $2.90 below the current minimum wage of $10.40. If an employee's tips combined with the employer's direct wages of at least an hour do not equal the minimum hourly wage, the employer must make up the difference.

The governor has put forth a proposal to eliminate the tipped minimum wage. If the tipped minimum wage credit was eliminated, tipped workers would receive the minimum wage for their area, plus the tips that they earned. The minimum wage they receive would be according to either the fast food worker schedule or the general minimum wage schedule.

Assemblyman Oaks said, “From my perspective, this change is unnecessary and is going to drive up employment costs. Eliminating the cash tip credit could have a severe impact on many small businesses in our community as they struggle to meet the already high costs of doing business in our state. I have also talked with tipped workers who fear they may actually lose income, as customers may tip less knowing the workers are already making the minimum wage.”

While hearings will be held throughout the state, a regional hearing will be held on Monday, April 30, 2018 at 10 a.m. at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry’s Gateway Center in Syracuse.

“The increase in minimum wage had a definite impact on employers in our region, and I have concerns that requiring employers to pay higher wages to workers already receiving tips could result in a loss of jobs,” said Oaks. “I encourage everyone impacted by this proposal to share their views with the Department of Labor during this period of public review.”

Hearings will also be held on April 25 in Watertown and May 8 in Buffalo. The State Department of Labor commissioner will preside over the hearings and all attendees are required to pre-register. To register or learn more, please visit: www.labor.ny.gov/workerprotection/laborstandards/subminimumwage.shtm.