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Today, the New York State Department of Labor’s Acting Commissioner, Mario Musolino, announced that New York State will raise the minimum wage for all tipped workers in the hospitality industry to $7.50, effective December 31, 2015.  The amount could be $8.50 in New York City should the New York State legislature enact a higher minimum wage rate for New York City hospitality industry employees.   Currently, tipped food service workers must be paid an hourly wage of at least $5.00 and tipped service employees must receive at least $5.65 per hour.  In raising the tipped hourly minimum wage to $7.50, the Department of Labor has also determined to eliminate the different rates currently paid to different categories of tipped employees in the hospitality industry.

In addition, the New York State Department of Labor accepted the governor-appointed Wage Board’s recommendation to consider eliminating the tip credit altogether, which would require hospitality industry employers to pay employees the full hourly minimum wage, which in New York is currently $8.75.   Several states have already eliminated the tip credit, and New York with its 50% increase in the tipped minimum wage may be on its way to doing the same.

You can access the Acting Commissioner’s Order by clicking here:  Order of Department of Labor.

On February 28, 2015, Salvatore Gangemi will be presenting “Employment Law — The Life of a Charge” at the St. John’s University School of Law, Spring 2015 CLE Weekend Program.  To register for the program click SJU CLE.

A Hospitality Industry Wage Board convened in September 2014 by the New York State Commissioner of Labor to consider changes to the minimum wages paid to tipped employees has just issued its recommendations to the Commissioner of Labor for review.  The public has until February 21, 2015 to submit comments to the Commissioner regarding the recommendations.

The Wage Board’s recommendations, released on January 30, 2015. consist of the following five proposals:

  • Uniform tip amounts and criteria for all tipped workers in the hospitality industry, which would result in the same rates for food service workers, service employees and service employees working in resort hotels.  (Currently the Hospitality Industry Wage Order provides varying tip credit and wage rates for these different categories of workers.)