For the first time since 2011, New York State’s tipped employees will receive a wage increase, Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to announce. The increase, which will provide a significant boost for a workforce that is majority female, takes the wage from $5.00 to $7.50 an hour.
The increase is scheduled to go into effect on December 31, per the orders of New York’s acting Labor Commissioner, Mario Musolino.
Governor Cuomo is also expected to endorse a review of the state’s two-tiered wage system, which relies on a combination of cash wages and tip credits to support employees. If eliminated, tipped workers will instead receive a single minimum wage that is deemed fair.
Musolino also rejected a proposal from the Wage Board for an additional $1.00 per hour tip credit if employers could prove that tipped workers earn 120% of the full minimum wage, or 150% in New York City, calling the recommendations “inconsistent” with the board’s other recommendations.
“Today’s announcement is a victory for the thousands of New York women who have been demanding a more just and hospitable work environment in one of the fastest growing and largest economic sectors in the country — the restaurant industry,” said Saru Jayaraman, co-founder of Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United. “Although ROC will continue to fight for One Fair Wage, we are thrilled that New York State will have the ninth highest state wage for tipped workers in the country with $7.50 an hour, a feat that would’ve been impossible without our leadership and that of our allies across New York calling for One Fair Wage.”