New York State Gives Tipped Workers a 50% Pay Raise

Despite major concerns from the the New York State Restaurant Association (NYSRA) about the impact an “extreme, unprecedented 50 percent increase” in wages will have on the restaurant business, the state's Acting Labor Commissioner Mario J. Musolino (no relation to Mussolini… that I’m aware of anyway) has agreed to a recommendation by a wage board to hike the minimum wage for tipped workers from $5 per hour to $7.50.

However, Commissioner Mussolino didn’t stop there

In his order, Musolino also agreed to study getting rid of the tipped minimum wage completely. Then all minimum-wage workers would make the same amount. Minimum wage is currently at $8.75 an hour for untipped workers. It is set to go up to $9 an hour at the end of this year for untipped workers.

As with any big-government, progressive bureaucrat, it appears as though Mr. Musolino sees a chance to strike while the iron’s hot. Why stop when you’re on a roll? Kind of along the same lines as “never let a good crisis go to waste.”

Obviously this will have a greater impact on the larger metropolitan areas that have a higher density of restaurants per capita. But even so, by some estimates it will cost employers in the mid-sized Central New York (CNY) Region $13.9 million per year in addition wages. And in case you are unaware, CNY is all ready in the midst of severe economic malaise. So how currently struggling businesses are going to be able to survive, let alone expand, with this additional burden is a real concern to many; with the notable exception of the financial wizards in Cuomo’s Labor Department, and, of course, the New York State Minimum Wage Coalition (a sterling confederacy of anti-capitalists if ever there was one.)

As Melissa Fleischut, president and CEO of the NYSRA stated in regards to this action by Governor Cuomo and his Labor Dept.: “It becomes hard to believe New York is really 'Open for Business’.”  

Actually Ms. Fleischut, some of us New Yorkers have been questioning this claim for a while now.