Workers’ Center of CNY Speaks Out @ Public Hearing – Tells Wage Board ‘End the Sub-Minimum Wage for Tipped Workers!’

Today, October 3, 2014, the Workers’ Center of CNY (alongside members of the Workers’ Center of Tompkins County, Citizen Action, the NYS Labor Religion Coalition, and other unaffiliated workers and advocates) spoke out at a public hearing organized in order to Raise the Sub-Minimum Wage for Tipped Workers!

 A photo from the hearing this Friday, to raise the minimum wage for tipped workers.There are 229,000 tipped workers who are making just $5 an hour in NY state! Tell the Wage Board that New Yorkers deserve #1FairWage!

Portrait: Our own Jim Williams, Co-Chair of the Workers Center of CNY board, speaking at the wage board hearing for tipped workers today. #1FAIRWAGE

Did you know that restaurant workers are allowed to be paid a sub-minimum wage by restaurants in New York (in addition to 43 other states nationwide)? Right now, in the State of New York, the tipped minimum wage for servers is $5/hour ($5.65 for delivery drivers). (The Federal Minimum Wage for tipped workers is even lower, at $2.13/hour!) Have you ever wondered why the restaurant industry has been given this special dispensation by our governments? (The NYS minimum wage for most workers is presently $8.00/hour; will go up to $8.75 on 12/31/14; and $9.00/hour on 12/31/15. Find complete summary here; also for restaurant workers).

Although employers are legally required to “top off” a tipped worker’s pay when it doesn’t meet the regular minimum wage, enforcement is so lax and disorganized that what’s being called “wage theft” — employers violating minimum wage, overtime, and other wage and hour laws —has reached epidemic levels.

You can submit an online comment to the Wage Board, demanding that they raise the sub-minimum wage to what the NYS minimum wage is, by clicking here Also, please sign the Tompkins County Worker Center petition at that demands that all workers receive the Minimum Wage, not sub-minimum wages!!


Citizen Action member Louise Poindexter shared her experience as a working mom. Support Louise and the 229,000 tipped workers who are making just $5 an hour. Tell the Wage Board that New Yorkers deserve #1FairWage!