A new legislative session recently began in Minnesota and among the DFL's early proposals is one to increase the state's minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.38. That's a thirty percent increase, which many advocates is necessary to keep up with the cost of living in the state.
However, the state's restaurant owners disagree. Minnesota is one of only a handful of states that do not allow restaurants to count tips as income. This means that a raise in minimum wage would also apply to servers and other employees whose majority of take-home income comes in the form of tips.
Those employees are already at an advantage in Minnesota with its higher base wage. Critics of the bill say it would link their income to inflation and set it up for more increases down the road. When employers have to pay tipped employees more, they may compensate by cutting their hours, a recent study found.
Wage and hour issues can be complicated because they are governed by both state and federal labor laws. While each state has its own rules, all of them are bound by federal regulations. In addition, different employers and employees have different needs in terms of compensation and work hours.
If you are involved in a dispute at work, whether it's over workplace discrimination, harassment, professional licensing or wage and hour issues, it is important to have someone on your side who understands the law and can help. Consider contacting an experienced employment law attorney who can work with you to protect your future and your career.
Source: Minnesota Public Radio, "Minimum-wage bill would deal a blow to Minnesota restaurants," Michael Saltsman, Feb.11, 2013
Please visit our website to learn more about employees' rights in Minnesota.