On January 30, the wage board convened by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to examine the state’s current tip credit structure recommended that the state increase the pre-tip minimum wage to $7.50/hour for all tipped workers. The board recommended that the increase take effect on December 31, 2015. The minimum wage increase would cause a corresponding reduction in the state’s tip credit, which permits businesses to pay tipped employees less than the minimum wage, provided that the employees earn enough gratuities to cover the difference. Currently, the minimum wage for tipped food service workers is $5/hour, and $5.65/hour for most non-food service workers. The wage board also recommended that the tipped minimum wage be reduced by $1/hour for tipped workers who make substantially more than the minimum wage as a result of their tips.
Gov. Cuomo has already signaled his support for the proposal, which awaits review by the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Labor. Stay tuned for further updates.