ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — People who work in the restaurant industry met Sunday to talk about what raising the minimum wage means to tipped workers.

A handful of concerned people gathered in St. Paul.  The city’s mayor, Melvin Carter, has said it’s a priority to work with the city council to pass a $15 an hour minimum wage.

The organizer believes raising the minimum wage, without adding what’s called a tip credit, could hurt the bottom line for businesses and employees.

“What that tip credit is a dollar amount in between that would allow us to count our taxable tipped income towards the minimum wage. The tip credit still guarantees that all workers make minimum wage at all times, but we’re allowed to use tips toward that minimum wage,” Jennifer Schellenberg, the event organizer with the Restaurant Workers of America, said. “The reason we want to do that is to keep menu prices lower for guests and continue participating the tip culture.”

A server at the meeting said many tipped workers make more than $15 an hour. He says a wage increase is good for many industries, but not his.

“It will definitely affect the amount of income and, really the ceiling. I think that it will lower the ceiling for my potential income,” Matt Gray said.

The City of Minneapolis passed a new minimum wage ordinance without a tip credit. Those working in bars and restaurants will make tips on top of the $10 an hour wage. It will eventually increase to $15 per hour by the year 2022.

Comments (2)
  1. If $15 is a living wage, why not set minimum wage at $100 an hour and make everyone well off; or $1,000 an hour and make everyone wealthy?

  2. The tip credit has always been a complete farce and employers know it. The practice exploits a class of workers employers know aren’t organized well enough to push back hard enough to make an impact. It’s nothing short of unethical for restauranteurs to subsidize payrolls with the personal earnings servers receive from patrons who tip them for good work. Service industry jobs are difficult enough without unscrupulous practices like this. I think I’ll eat in tonight.

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