Maine Restaurant Association Pleased Governor Le Page Acted Quickly to Restore the Tip Credit to Maine’s Minimum Wage Law
Augusta, Maine (June 27, 2017)– Governor LePage quickly signed into law LD673, “An Act to Restore the Tip Credit to Maine’s Minimum Wage Law”.
“This legislation was overwhelmingly supported in both the Maine House and Senate in a bipartisan way, which is rare in our current political environment, “ observed Steve Hewins, the president and CEO of the Maine Restaurant Association. “This victory also shows the power of a grass roots effort of workers combined with an association of owners all saying the same thing!,” said Hewins. “We would not have accomplished this daunting task without working together.”
The tip credit can be confusing to policymakers and to the general public, but it is a crucial component of the restaurant industry. The tip credit allows restaurants to pay their servers at one-half the prevailing minimum wage provided they make up any shortfall in the rare case that an employee’s tips plus wages amount to less than the minimum wage. “We want to remind the public that servers are being paid as they always have been,” commented Hewins. “We hope our residents and visitors will continue to generously support the excellent service provided in restaurants from rural diners and small establishments to high-end restaurants throughout the state.”
The battle to reinstate the tip credit was led by a collaboration between The Maine Restaurant Association and the Restaurant Workers of Maine, a grass roots group that was started by a single individual on Facebook and eventually expanded to over 5000 restaurant employees from across the state.
Here are a few facts about reinstatement:
· While the bill technically takes effect in 90 days, it is effectively in place now. Beginning on January 1st, 2018 the tip credit will continue to be at half the prevailing minimum wage.
· The scale continues until then minimum wage tops out at $12/hour in 2024, at which time the tip wage will be $6/hour.
· LD673 establishes the tipped wage ‘floor’ at the present $5.00 an hour.