NY POST OPINION – By Andrew Rigie
The culture of tipping ingrained in the American culture is coming to a boiling point in New York City.
To help create jobs for New Yorkers while reducing operating costs for the restaurant industry, state law allows employers to take a “tip credit” against the minimum wage.
Here’s how it works: Restaurants currently pay tipped workers a base wage of $5 an hour. An employee’s tips are then added to the base wage. If that sum is less than the minimum wage, the law requires the employer to pay the difference — a fact that many activists leave out when falsely suggesting that tipped restaurant workers are earning a sub-minimum wage.
The truth is that thousands of tipped restaurant workers are not just making the minimum wage; they’re making more than $20 an hour, according to a survey conducted by the NYC Hospitality Alliance. But this could soon change. A well-organized campaign to eliminate the tip credit may backfire, cutting the incomes of thousands of tipped restaurant employees, reducing the workforce and the number of good-paying restaurants in New York City.