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Tom Wallace, Star Tribune

Letter of the Day (March 17): Minimum wage

  • March 16, 2013 - 5:44 PM

The editorial about the minimum wage mentioned pay for tipped restaurant employees, but omitted key points (“Raise wage floor to ensure value of work,” March 10). The Minnesota Restaurant Association’s proposal would establish a tipped-employee base wage at the current $7.25 per hour for servers earning at least $12 hourly, including tips.

A recent survey of state restaurants showed an average pay of $18 per hour statewide and $22 per hour in the metro area when tips were included. This better aligns Minnesota with the 43 states that recognize tips as income.

Tips already are treated as income for all purposes other than the minimum wage. Employees pay taxes on them, and employers pay Medicare, FICA and unemployment compensation based on income, including tips.

If Minnesota chooses not to establish a tiered wage for tipped employees, restaurants will face difficult choices, such as reducing staffing levels, making the transition from table service to counter service and postponing expansion plans.

Our proposal is a reasonable compromise and significantly different from the “tip credit” concept that became a political football in the 2010 gubernatorial campaign.

J.J. Haywood, Minneapolis

 

The writer is president of the Minnesota Restaurant Association.

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