Thursday, June 29, 2017

Maine restaurant workers win lower minimum wage

Fox News.com
Last November, the Maine State Legislature voted to raise the minimum wage for restaurant servers. Then in mid-June, they voted to lower it back down. And lots of Maine’s restaurant workers were thrilled.

The minimum wage for tipped workers in Maine is half that of the state’s regular minimum wage ($9). It’s called the “tip credit” rule, as it allows employers to take a credit of up to 50%  from their employees’ wages, because servers will generally make that money back (and hopefully more) in tips. If tips and wages, together, don't equal the state's minimum wage, employers are required to make up the difference.

But, at November’s referendum, the Maine House voted to raise the minimum wage by $1 each year (through 2024) and to remove the tip credit rule entirely, meaning that all employees — tipped or not — would be earning the state’s minimum wage, reports the Portland Press Herald. That's when something unexpected happened.

State Senator James Dill, a Democrat who initially voted to raise wages, told the Washington Post that after the Nov. referendum passed, he received “hundreds” of calls and emails from servers who were worried about their livelihood.
 Go here for the full story.
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