Did you and your sweetie go out to dinner for Valentine’s Day? Your server may be interested in a new law proposed in the house to increase the minimum wage for tipped employees. As of now, the minimum wage for someone like a waiter is $2.13 per hour. The idea is that with tips, the server’s true compensation is generally higher than the minimum wage applicable to other workers. That’s a nice theory, but it may not always work for people who have to participate in tip pools, or whose employers keep their tips (which they are allowed to do, so long as the employee makes at least the generally applicable minimum wage).
Maryland’s Representative Donna Edwards has introduced H.R. 631, the Working for Adequate Gains for Employment in Services Act, to increase the minimum wage for employees living off tips. The acronym is “WAGES.”
The law would increase the minimum wage to $3.75 beginning 90 days after the law is enacted, then after a year increase it to $5.00 per hour, then mandate that in two years it rises to and remains at 70% of the prevailing minimum wage rate.
The bill has been referred to the Committee on Education and the Workforce.