Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Cap on minimum wage for tipped employees

Aaron Peskin likes caps, freezingSan Francisco restaurants have been pushing for a statewide tip credit for many years now, which would allow them to count tips toward the minimum wage they pay waiters, at least partly.

Now they are trying to get something similar done on the city level. The idea is to freeze the minimum wage at $9.14 for tipped workers, so they would not get the annual cost of living increases.

The idea is that waiters, bartenders and bussers are making so much money on tips that they can afford to give up their annual minimum wage hikes. Restaurant owners would then have money to give delayed raises to their back-of-the-house workers and to stay afloat, the thinking goes.

A Golden Gate Restaurant Association study two years ago put typical waiter tips at $22-30 per hour, with bussers making an estimated 20 percent of that. The accuracy of such figures could become a key point in determining whether the wage cap idea gains political currency among the Board of Supervisors; whether they see a freeze of the minimum wage, which won't sell, or a freeze in raises for well-off workers, which will sell.

Another idea is to support the gross receipts tax plan floated by Board of Supervisors president Aaron Peskin, who shows his love for both caps and freezing in the picture at right. Peskin wants a gross receipts tax in place of the payroll tax, a move that would benefit restaurants since their biggest cost is labor.

Either way, restaurants clearly want to put some ideas behind the possible one-day restaurant shutdown I reported more than a week ago.

Full details in my Business Times update today:

S.F. restaurants may push for minimum wage freeze for workers who get tips (free link)

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home