A New Tipping Law for the Restaurant Industry

April 24, 2015 Law Research

Tipping is a custom that Americans have grown to both love and hate. Many countries around the world do not tip, and yet, they continue to function. Usually, tipping is optional and supplemental. In Japan, tips are considered insulting.

 

The one part about tipping that wait service providers dislike the most is that the money they receive is completely in the digression of the patron. However, in New York, getting paid for a day’s work based on your patrons’ feeling or choice may be gone in the near future.

 

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed a bill that will raise the minimum wage for servers and bartenders to $7.50 an hour. This is up from the previous amount of $4.90 and hour in some places around the city. Currently, the minimum wage in for all New Yorkers everywhere else is $8.75.

 

Why is the minimum wage for servers lower? The justification is that servers make up for the lost wages through tips. In contrast, this has caused a lot of controversy in this expensive city. Supporters say they like being able to award their servers for a job well done, and restaurants cut costs with lower wages.

 

However, many people want to stop the tipping custom all together, and pay servers and bartenders a set wage. The main reason for this argument is that tipping leads to a very unstable economic environment for servers. Their source of income is in the hands of strangers. It can be viewed as demeaning to the server who may do all they can to please a patron, and still receive a low tip.

 

The average minimum wage for servers across the United States is $2.13 an hour in 17 states, including Georgia. Only California and Washington are the only states where waiters and bartenders are paid the statewide minimum wage.This is a step to improve economic stability, and hopefully enhance the lives of waiters and bartenders across New York.
What do you think about the new wage law in New York? Do you think more states will follow suit?

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