Norris: Loss Of Tipped Waged Credit Will Hurt Restaurant Industry

In response to constituent concerns over the governor’s proposal to eliminate the state’s tipped wage, Assemblyman Mike Norris (R,I-Lockport) has expressed his opposition of the measure to state Department of Labor (DOL) Commissioner Roberta Reardon. As reported across the state, New Yorkers are largely opposed to the measure as they fear it would result in lower take-home pay for wait staff and others who rely on tips. “Government needs to learn to stop inserting itself into the private sector and hurting New Yorkers’ ability to achieve the American Dream,” said Norris. “I have spoken with both restaurant owners and wait staff who rely on tips, and both sides have told me that this measure is unwanted and unnecessary.” Two years ago Maine was one of the few states to end the tip wage credit. Though the hourly wage was raised, within a year a ballot measure was passed by the public to revert back to the tipped system. According to the New York Restaurant Association, tipped workers in Maine saw their take-home pay cut by 20 percent after the tip wage credit was eliminated. Earlier this month a public forum was held in Buffalo to weigh the measure, resulting in the Buffalo News to opine that the tip credit should be kept. In fact, they wrote that removing the tip credit would “be an overcorrection, one with unfortunate consequences.” Those consequences include wait staff earning a lower take-home wage, restaurants being forced to raise prices, and consumers feeling the pinch. This could result in a reduction in how often the hardworking families of Western New York could afford to eat out, compromising the regional economy and the ability of small mom and pop restaurants to stay in business. Norris highlighted these concerns in his letter to the DOL, and he encourages members of the public to share their concerns as well. You can write to the commissioner at:

Roberta Reardon, Commissioner
NYS Department of Labor
Building 12
W.A. Harriman Campus
Albany, NY 12240