Two Democratic state lawmakers propose ending what they term a “sub-minimum wage” that is paid employees in Wisconsin restaurants.
Senator Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee) said Monday that the tipped minimum wage can be as little as $2.33 an hour. “This is simply not enough,” Larson said. “The understanding is, when a person is paid that, the tips that they make will get them over $7.25 an hour.”
Just finished up a press conference with @StateRepHong to unveil our bill to end the tipped minimum wage in Wisconsin.
Every worker deserves a living wage, and $2.33 an hour is not that. It’s not just good for workers, it’s good for the future of the hospitality industry. pic.twitter.com/asJOeHrUkt
— Senator Chris Larson (@SenChrisLarson) March 15, 2021
Larson introduced the bill with Representative Francesca Hong (D-Madison), who owns a restaurant. “We’re keeping some restaurants from being bad actors, and really working towards a greater vision of restaurants that have equitable pay structures, that contribute to their community, that empower their workers, so that their workers can go out and continue to spend that money at other restaurants and other local shops, and that our economies can really become stronger when we empower our restaurant workers.”
Seven states, including Minnesota, have all eliminated the tip credit. Raising the federal minimum wage to $15 would also eliminate the lower tipped wage in restaurants nationwide.
The Capital Times reports that a statement from the Wisconsin Restaurant Association said the organization supported “a discussion” over the current federal minimum wage, but that now is not the time to change the tip credit.