Letters to the Editor

Letter: Eliminate ‘tip credit’ to help minimum-wage workers

Since you’ve had a delicious dinner at the restaurant with good service, you include a generous tip on the credit card bill. This will supplement the server’s minimum-wage salary.

No, this is not necessarily so! It depends upon the restaurant management. The website nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/tip says, “Under federal law and in most states, employers may pay tipped employees less than the minimum wage, as long as employees receive enough in tips to make up the difference. This is called a tip credit.”

Most states allow a tip credit, but California, Minnesota, and Oregon do not. So, in Washington your tip may actually subsidize management and go toward the server’s minimum wage!

In my opinion, this practice is very unfair and the law ought to be repealed or at least amended. It’s discrimination against the people who can least afford it. This practice only aggravates wage inequality! You give a tip to the server not to the management.

Today there is so much discussion about raising the minimum wage, which in Washington is currently $9.47. Eliminating the tip credits is a good place to start. The website epi.org provides more information.

Margaret S. Greenwood