As the debate over raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour ramps up, Katie McGinty, Democratic candidate for Governor wants to make sure that food servers and other tipped workers don't get forgotten in the discussion.
On Monday, McGinty released a statement calling for the minimum wage for tipped workers — which currently sits at a paltry $2.83 an hour — to be raised to $10.10 an hour just like workers in every other job. In recent minimum wage discussions, President Obama has supported raising the minimum wage for tipped workers to 70 percent of that amount. And according to the Philadelphia City Paper, fellow candidates Allyson Schwartz, John Hanger and Tom Wolf agree with the president while Rob McCord told Philly CP that he would roll his own plan out in the near future.
“This issue has a particular impact on women, who represent 67% of restaurant workers. It’s time that tipped workers receive the same minimum wage as every other worker in Pennsylvania,” McGinty said in the statement. “While employers are supposed to ensure that consumer tips bring every employee to the overall minimum wage, too often that does not happen.
"Tipped workers, who often work several jobs to support their families, should be paid at least a minimum wage for the hard work they do.”
The full release appears after the jump.
McGinty: Eliminate Subminimum Wage for Tipped Workers
Minimum Wage Increase Should Equally Apply To All Workers
PHILADELPHIA—— Katie McGinty, Democratic candidate for governor, today became the first Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate to call for eliminating the subminimum wage paid to tipped workers and increasing the minimum wage to $10.10/hour for all workers.
The federal minimum wage for tipped workers has been frozen at $2.83 for the last 21 years, while the general minimum wage has risen to $7.25/hour. Under federal legislation supported by President Obama, the minimum wage would be increased to $10.10/hour, with tipped workers to receive a minimum wage increase of 70% of that amount. McGinty supports paying tipped workers 100% of the hourly wage paid to other workers.
“This issue has a particular impact on women, who represent 67% of restaurant workers. It’s time that tipped workers receive the same minimum wage as every other worker in Pennsylvania. While employers are supposed to ensure that consumer tips bring every employee to the overall minimum wage, too often that does not happen. Tipped workers, who often work several jobs to support their families, should be paid at least a minimum wage for the hard work they do,” said McGinty, who also was the first Democratic gubernatorial candidate to call for an increase in the minimum wage.
A number of Pennsylvania restaurants pay their tipped workers the same minimum wage as their hourly workers. States such as Alaska, California, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington State have eliminated the subminimum wage for tipped workers.
“By increasing the minimum wage for all workers we will help hard-working Pennsylvanians who are struggling to make ends meet, put more money into their pockets which will lead to greater economic growth, and address a growing income disparity gap in our state and nation. Bottom-line, no one who works hard forty hours a week should have to live in poverty,” said McGinty.
According to a national study by the Food Labor Research Center based at UC Berkeley’s Center for Labor Research and Education, raising the minimum wage for tipped workers would have a minimal impact on consumer prices.
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