Support the news

Bill Would Require Mass. Tipped Workers To Be Paid Minimum Wage

Nearly all restaurants in the U.S. operate under the tip system: Servers and those in the back of the house — chefs, line cooks, dishwashers, etc. — are paid a lower-than-average standard minimum wage, and then they earn tips to make up for the pay disparity. (Eric Risberg/AP)
Nearly all restaurants in the U.S. operate under the tip system: Servers and those in the back of the house — chefs, line cooks, dishwashers, etc. — are paid a lower-than-average standard minimum wage, and then they earn tips to make up for the pay disparity. (Eric Risberg/AP)

A push is on to require that tipped workers in Massachusetts be paid at least the minimum wage.

State Sen. Patricia Jehlen of Somerville and Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier of Pittsfield, both Democrats, are calling for the elimination of the state's so-called "sub-minimum wage" of $4.35 an hour for tipped workers.

The bill would raise the minimum wage for tipped workers incrementally over several years to $13.95, and then in 2028 require that all workers be paid the state's full minimum wage.

The lawmakers said in Massachusetts, nearly 70 percent of tipped workers are women, but earn only 70 percent of the wages their male counterparts make.

Business groups representing restaurant owners say the proposed increase could lead to higher prices for diners and force many restaurants to close.

Related:

+Join the discussion
TwitterfacebookEmail

Support the news