Two area state senators are making a push to increase the minimum wage, including for employees who receive tips.
State Senators Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery/Delaware) and Mike Stack (D-Philadelphia) this week introduced legislation that would end sub-minimum wages for tip earners and raise the overall minimum wage to $12 an hour.
Current Pennsylvania law permits employers to use tips against all but $2.83 of the current $7.25 minimum wage. The federal minimum wage for tipped workers is $2.13, and has not changed for more than 20 years.
“The tipped minimum wage hasn’t changed in 23 years and allows business owners to take advantage of low-wage, disproportionately female workers even demanding they do un-tipped work like dish washing and cleaning bathrooms for $2.83 an hour,” Leach said. “Pennsylvania’s economy will grow as over one million workers in Pennsylvania would see their wages rise if we pass this bill. Twenty years of research has shown that in states that have increased the minimum wage, small businesses had lower turnover and increased productivity.”
Stack said defenders of poverty wages have been putting an “impossible burden” on working families for too long.
“Adjusting the minimum wage to account for inflation prevents working families from being trapped in poverty and reduces dependence on public assistance,” Stack said. “Fair wages for a day’s work is fundamental to achieving the American dream and generating self-determination and independence.”
In addition to an increase, the bill would tie the minimum wage to annual inflation, a practice currently done in 11 states, according to information from Stack and Leach.