The subminimum wage for tipped workers is 66 percent of the overall minimum wage and ranges from $8.35-10.40 an hour in the state of New York. A direct legacy of slavery, the subminimum wage impacts a workforce of nearly 330,000 tipped workers that is 58 percent women and 49 percent people of color, and an overall restaurant industry of over 625,000 workers in New York.
Juan Carlos Romero
Since the pandemic, restaurant workers have been leaving the industry in droves. Our research reveals that 53 percent of restaurant workers surveyed are considering leaving the industry, 70 percent of whom are citing low wages and tips as their primary reason for leaving, and 78 percent of workers state that the only reason they would stay in the industry is if they received a livable wage with tips on top. In response to this staffing crisis, thousands of restaurants nationwide have raised their wages to get workers to attract and retain staff, but this measure is not enough. Through state campaigns, we are focusing on raising wages for tipped workers so that the 1 million restaurant workers who have left since the onset of the pandemic can return to an industry that fairly compensates essential workers.
In 2019, Governor Cuomo issued an executive order to end the subminimum wage for all tipped industries with the exception of the restaurant industry. Restaurant workers were thus excluded from receiving fair wages.
Now, Governor Hochul can support low wage workers by adopting One Fair Wage to guarantee a full minimum wage for all workers. To achieve One Fair Wage in New York, we need to demand that New York lawmakers fairly compensate tipped workers by signing onto Assembly Bill A2244 and Senate Bill S808.
Below are letters of support for One Fair Wage:
Take action with us!
Achieving One Fair Wage will require all of us to speak up and demand New York lawmakers fairly compensate our tipped workers. Call your legislator today and ask them to sign onto Assembly Bill A2244 and Senate Bill S808.
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