American tipped workers are in a difficult spot. As the cost of living rises while wages remain stagnant, many of these employees have had to scramble to make ends meet. Recently, states across the nation have been considering laws that would require employers to pay tipped workers the full minimum wage.
The current federal minimum wage for tipped workers is only $2.13 per hour. This rate has not increased since 1991, leaving tipped employees with barely enough to survive. In some states, tipped employees can receive as little as $2.83 an hour, depending on the particular state.
Most states require employers to make sure that tipped employees receive at least the full minimum wage when tips are added in. This is known as a “tip credit” system. However, some states are now beginning to move away from this system, requiring employers to pay employees the full minimum wage regardless of tips received.
For instance, Arkansas recently passed a law that will require employers to pay tipped workers the full minimum wage. Colorado voted to amend their minimum wage laws, now requiring employers to pay workers the higher minimum wage when tips are included.
The trend towards requiring employers to pay tipped workers the full minimum wage is being driven by the rising cost of living in certain areas. Combined with stagnant wages and increasing inequality, it is becoming increasingly difficult for tipped employees to make ends meet.
By requiring employers to pay the full minimum wage regardless of tips, more employees will be able to make a living wage while still being compensated for their hard work. This could potentially lead to improved employee morale and productivity, benefiting both employers and employees.
Whether or not other states move towards requiring employers to pay the full minimum wage for tipped workers is yet to be seen. However, these recent developments across the country are a hopeful sign for those who rely on tips to make ends meet.