As Texas readers are well aware, the battle for minimum wage increases has spread across the country. Many states have raised the minimum wage, but it is not yet clear if this also applies to tipped workers. Those in the service industry, including waiters and waitresses, have been making the same standard amount since 1991.
For more than two decades, the minimum wage for tipped employees has been $2.13, while the national minimum wage has risen to $7.25. Technically, employers are supposed to ensure that all tipped workers make at least $7.25 if their tips do not make up the difference in the hourly wage. However, this is a difficult task for the employer and for the government to enforce.
While states can adjust the minimum wage for tipped employees, more and more restaurants are exploring different methods for serving customers. In fact, with increased technology and more streamlined processes, some employers have even eliminated tip sharing or tipping altogether. As the push for increased minimum wage continues across the country, Texas employees could find that even tipped workers are making an increased base amount per hour.
Tipped workers have rights, including the right to earning at least the minimum wage per hour. Whether this comes from the employer or through tips, employees should always understand what to expect from their paycheck. By understanding certain rights, employees can have realistic expectations of their employer and also understand when they have been denied their rightful minimum wage. When an employee has been mistreated by an employer in any way, it should be noted that he or she has the right to consider all possible legal options.
Source: npr.org, “For Tipped Workers, A Different Minimum Wage Battle“, , June 29, 2014