Watch for the DFL smear machine to try to spin this story:
Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer says Minnesota should factor tips into the hourly pay for minimum wage workers in restaurants and other gratuity-based jobs.
After visiting a St. Paul restaurant Monday on a listening tour, Emmer advocated for a so-called “tip credit” to the state minimum wage.
This is entirely about bringing jobs back to the hospitality business in Minnesota, which has suffered badly in recent years, not only from the economy but from years of ill-advised regulations.
Minnesota is among seven states that currently prohibits employers paying workers less than the minimum wage if they earn tips, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
However, that’s only been true since 1990. Before then, Minnesota had a tip credit also.
Minnesota has a state minimum wage of $5.25 for small employers and $6.15 for large employers, based on annual sales.
Emmer says tying base pay to tips will “level playing field so the employers can continue to exist, survive and thrive.”
Federal law permits states to drop the minimum wage to tipped employees to $2.13 per hour.
Opponents argue tips are too volatile to count on, especially for workers at the bottom of the pay ladder.
So here’s the question: are the “workers at the bottom of the pay ladder” better off hustling for tips (which can be volatile and low, and can also be really really good money), or out of work entirely?
Because in this economy, that’s pretty much the choice.