Bill would lower minimum wage for tipped employees

Tomorrow, a House committee will hold a hearing on a bipartisan bill that would lower the minimum wage for tipped employees.

The bill, authored by Rep. Pat Garofalo (R-Farmington), would reduce the minimum wage to $8 per hour for workers who earn an average of more than $12 hourly with tips. You can read the legislation's full text here.

Minnesota's minimum wage, which thanks to a law approved last year will be raised to $9.50 an hour on August 1, 2016, doesn't contain an exception for tipped employees, as in the case in many states.

That means Minnesota is a relatively lucrative place to work for servers, bartenders, and other tipped workers. Garofalo's bill would make it slightly less so.

Last summer, Gov. Mark Dayton said he understood why restaurant and bar owners are frustrated about Minnesota not having a lower minimum wage for tipped employees. But later, his spokesperson told this reporter, "The governor does not support a tip penalty and does not want to make any minimum wage change at this time."

In order for Garofalo's bill to become law, it would have to be approved by the MNGOP-controlled House and the DFL-controlled Senate, then signed by Dayton.

Image credit -- Nathan Meijer on Flickr

h/t -- Pioneer Press

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