It’s time for New York’s subminimum wage for tipped workers to end. 400,000 tipped workers in New York are subject to a minimum wage that is $4 to $5.50 less than that of non-tipped workers. These workers deserve an equal minimum wage on top of their tips.
Tipped workers are more likely than non-tipped workers to live in poverty and face multiple economic hardships.
Income fluctuations, a result ofthe irregularity of tips compared to regular paychecks, make it harder for tipped workers to stay financially stable. Thirty-two percent of tipped workers said they were worried all or most of the time about their household finances, compared to only 23 percent among non-tipped workers, according to CSS’s annual Unheard Third survey.
In addition to exacerbating income inequality, the subminimum wage also creates an increased risk of sexual harassment from customers and management.
Among this predominately female workforce, many workers feel pressure from management to dress in ways that objectify themselves to try to earn bigger tips, according to a report by Restaurant Opportunities Centers United.