By Sahid Fawaz
Tipped workers in New York have reason to be optimistic.
"Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday that the state will hold a series of hearings on the minimum wage for tipped workers, as he potentially looks to get rid of the difference in wages altogether.
'I'm going to start a series of hearings on that because I don't think that's working well,' Cuomo said in an interview on AM 970's 'The Cats Roundtable.' 'It hurts immigrants. Seventy percent of the employees are women. So that's one of the inequities that we're going to be looking at.'
The hearings are the latest proposal Cuomo has unveiled for his upcoming 2018 State of the State agenda.
Hearings in 2018 would mark the second time in five years that the state has analyzed the tipped minimum wage, which is lower that regular minimum wage because those workers also receive tips. In 2014, Cuomo convened a wage board to look into whether tipped workers deserved a raise. The governor's Department of Labor accepted increase recommendations from that board in 2015, boosting the wage.
For example, an upstate waiter who currently makes $8.10 per hour would be due $1.60 extra an hour from their employer if they aren't making that amount in tips, bringing them up to the current $9.70 minimum wage.
The tipped wage increase preceded a phased-in increase of the regular minimum wage to $15 downstate and $12.50 upstate, which Cuomo won in the 2016 state budget."
For the rest of the piece, check out the full article at the Times Union here.