HEADLINE: New York decides to give breathing room to restaurants and their workers
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a decision, on the very last day of 2019 that restaurants around the country – and their workers – are celebrating. We shared it with you here, NY to end below-minimum wage for 70K tipped employees, last week. It wasn’t the only restaurant news of the month, but we sure think it’s worth raising a glass to.
After many months of study and deliberation, the governor decided not to eliminate the tip credit in restaurants. He is eliminating the tipped minimum wage in a long list of other workplaces, including nail salons and car washes.
When asked why restaurants are not included, his office stated in a social media post that more study would be needed before the state can make that decision.
Could it be that Gov. Cuomo understands how unique restaurants are within the overall business landscape? Could it be that he and his advisors understand that in restaurants, the trouble generally isn’t with the amount of money front-of-house staff earn, but with the disparity between front-of-house and heart-of-house staff? Or, maybe he and his staff learned what happened in Maine: servers found that customers stopped tipping, or tipped less, when the tip credit was eliminated. His decision suggests he may be seeing some of these facts more clearly than the people who continuously advocate for an elimination of tip credits – and continue to fail.
Armies of restaurant workers had lobbied against the elimination of the tip credit in New York. Servers and bartenders led those conversations, arguing that restaurants are struggling just to navigate the higher minimum wage. To lose the tip credit would only put their jobs at risk, they said.
In fact, in many jurisdictions, advocates for an elimination of the tipped minimum wage have lost their arguments specifically because workers have vociferously opposed them. In Maine, Washington D.C., Chicago, and now, New York, policy makers have either declined to eliminate the tip credit, or they’ve been forced to undo an elimination of tip credit by voters – because restaurant workers demanded to have the tip credit back.
To Gov. Cuomo: thank you.
To the activists trying to “save” workers by getting rid of tip credits: after all these fights you’ve lost, isn’t it time to listen to the workers themselves about what’s best for them?
The Daily Prep Team