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Sun Aug 3, 2014, 12:49 PM

question about minimum wage

I'm embarrassed to ask this question, please forgive me.

I just watched an interview with Rep. Jan Schakowsky on MSNBC, discussing her experience on living with a minimum wage.

Something she discussed with Alex Witt shocked me. Tipped workers get even less. The amount $7.25/hr INCLUDES what's made in tips. So they could be paid as low as $2.13 an hour, and the difference from tips is used to make the $7.25/hr.

I give large tips because i want that money to go towards the tipped workers so they make more than $7.25/hr.

Did I misunderstand that discussion between Witt and Schakowsky? Because if it's true, the high tip profits are going to employers, not employees. That does not make any sense. Someone please tell me I'm wrong. I'm so horrified.

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Response to shireen (Original post)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 12:54 PM

1. You didn't misunderstand a thing.

This was the gift to the other NRA (National Restaurant Association) and Herman Cain about 30 years ago. There are some states that have a higher minimum but still servers are often expected to share their tips with other servers and buss people.

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Response to shireen (Original post)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 12:59 PM

2. Depends on where you eat.

Some keep full tips, some have to turn tips into the manager so it can be divided equally amongst all workers, some get the 2.13 minimum and make minimum wage with tips with the rest going to the owner. To the last, if a employee gets a LOT of tips then they get minimum from the tips with the remainder going to the owner (As in, their employer doesn't pay them shit and uses creative accounting to list them as minimum wage, despite the entirety of that wage coming from tips.)


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Response to shireen (Original post)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 01:04 PM

3. I don't think you have it right

a tipped worker, in this case, makes $2.13 an hour plus tips.

Say they work a 5 hour day and it's slow and they only get $20 in tips, making their wage for the day $6.13 an hour. Except they are guaranteed the federal minimum so the employer needs to make up the other $1.12 an hour.

Tipped workers, though, often make much more than $7.25 an hour. If you serve, for example, ten customers in an hour and they each tip a mere dollar, then you are up to $12.13 an hour right there.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #3)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 01:25 PM

4. Only circumstantially, I know for a fact they sometimes have to tip out the other staff

I've never heard of the scenario where the restaurant would just gaffle the damn tips and pay them minimum but I can't rule it out considering how worthless labor laws can be. I had a job where they just decided to cut our pay and the department of labor said it was A OK with 24 hours notice so if the market would bear it anybody anytime could be busted to minimum the very next day.

Don't get me wrong, I know some do pretty well but everywhere isn't a popular steakhouse, a lot of times most of the allure above McDonald's or something is the daily nature of the cash rather than the actual amount of it and the little hourly pays taxes.

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Response to shireen (Original post)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 01:28 PM

5. Not only that, but if you pay by credit card...

... some employers will deduct the credit card charge (that is, the fee they pay to the credit card company) from the worker's tips. It is perfectly legal to do so. *Always* tip with cash.

Food service workers have always been paid below minimum, even in no-tip environments. My first job 40 years ago was in fast food, and I was paid about 10% less than the minumum wage. Imagine my shock. (Of course, that was only a dime, then, but the princliple is the same, even if the principal is different)

-- Mal

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Response to shireen (Original post)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 01:39 PM

6. The Wiser Waitress has a lot of good eye-opening info:

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Response to shireen (Original post)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 01:40 PM

7. We were always taxed as if we made minimum whether we did or not. I made $2.50+ in

1984 and that was one of the highest paid gigs in the area then. They still are paying the same. Country club.

On edit: Minimum wage was $3.35, which was a crime too.

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Response to Mnemosyne (Reply #7)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 02:41 PM

9. $3.35 in 1984 is equivalent to about $7.68 now.

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Response to PoliticAverse (Reply #9)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 05:02 PM

11. I still have a button that reads, "3.35 is a Crime". Nothing changes, does it? nt

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Response to shireen (Original post)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 02:40 PM

8. US Labor Law on tips...

http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/wages/wagestips.htm

(note that state law may impose additional minimums/limits/requirements).

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Response to shireen (Original post)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 03:24 PM

10. Well, it's technically illegal for employers to steal the tips, but it happens.

but yes, servers are expected to turn them in to share with other servers, busboys, bar tenders, and other people who are part of the front end but not directly engaged with customers.

It's why I tip in cash. The server can let his/her conscience dictate how much of it goes into the pot.

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