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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: December 3, 2018 02:31 PM
From: Representative Angel Cruz
To: All House members
Subject: Raising the Tipped Minimum Wage to Equal the General Minimum Wage (Former HB 2323 from the 2013-2014 Legislative Session)
In the near future, I plan to re-introduce legislation that would close the wage gap between tipped employees and all other workers. My bill would amend The Minimum Wage Act of 1968 to repeal the tipped minimum wage.

In February 2014, following a U.S. Department of Labor investigation, a Philadelphia sports bar and restaurant chain was required to pay $6.8 million in back wages and damages for misappropriating tips and failing to pay the minimum wage. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, tips are the property of the employee who receives them. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous restaurant operators can benefit by claiming a credit based on tips towards their obligation to pay those employees the minimum wage.

The basic facts of the tipped worker minimum wage are appalling. Tipped wages in Pennsylvania are currently $2.83 per hour. That is simply not enough to sustain a decent living or support a family. While restaurants are supposed to make up the difference when workers' tips don't raise them to the full minimum wage of $7.25, many do not. My legislation would even the playing field by instituting one minimum wage for all Pennsylvania workers whether they receive tips or not.

Very few tipped workers earn enough money in tips to survive, and most are vulnerable to the extreme variability and unpredictability of tipped income. Tips are meant to be a gratuity for good service and a supplement to wages, not a customer-funded wage replacement that allows employers in certain industries to enjoy lower labor costs.

By co-sponsoring this legislation, you will put an end to this injustice and assist me in raising the incomes of hardworking Pennsylvanians, many of whom support families and contribute to our economy. Thank you in advance for your consideration.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact my Harrisburg office at 717-705-1925.


Introduced as HB184