Everyone knows that tipping is customary at a bar or restaurant – but did you know that workers at nail salons and car washes also rely on customers’ tips to earn a living wage? Many employees in the service industry earn less than New York’s $13/hour minimum from employers who expect tips to make up the difference.
Earlier this year, Governor Andrew Cuomo raised the possibility of eliminating New York’s subminimum wage for tipped workers. Many workers showed up for public hearings on the matter this summer, including service workers who are struggling to make ends meet while earning less than minimum wage. Restaurant workers joined the crowd as well, but many of them oppose the change because they make well above minimum wage with tips.
Darren Rumack On The Minimum Wage
Klein Law Group partner Darren P.B. Rumack recently spoke to City Limits, a nonprofit publication with a mission to create a more just NYC. As a wage and hour attorney dedicated to protecting workers’ rights, Darren works with many employees whose wages are unfairly stolen or suppressed by their employers. He is especially familiar with the struggles affecting immigrant workers, who make up more than half of our clients in wage and hour matters.
A subminimum wage is just one of the many obstacles facing immigrant workers trying to build their lives in New York. Many workers who rely on tips, particularly in nail salons and car washes, also face unreliable schedules, hostile employers and seasonal fluctuations in business. Combined with decreased access to information about their rights, these conditions make it very difficult for immigrant workers to meet their financial goals.
You Build New York. We Rebuild Lives.
New York’s workers play a tremendous role in building our great city. No matter where a worker comes from or what kind of labor they perform, we believe employees have the right to earn a living wage while having their basic rights respected. We hope that whatever solution is reached regarding subminimum wage will respect the concerns of workers and help them afford their piece of the American dream.
If you have concerns about stolen wages or other legal issues in the workplace, we encourage you to contact us. One of our trusted attorneys can review your case at no cost and help you understand your legal options moving forward.