Higher minimum wage: Lower tips for restaurant workers?

Now that California is raising its minimum wage to $10 an hour, from $8 an hour, Desiree wants to know how this will affect restaurant workers.

She asks: Aren’t they often paid less than minimum wage?

They are. Federal law requires only that tipped workers receive $2.13 an hour (plus tips, of course).

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However, California is among a handful of states that require all workers to receive at least minimum wage, regardless of tips.

So does that mean you can now tip restaurant workers less? I’d say no. Even at $8 an hour, the typical restaurant worker was pulling down only about $16,500 a year, plus tips. If you could survive on that, then by all means ease up on the tipping.

If, on the other hand, you think that’s nowhere close to a living wage -- as many restaurant workers argue -- keep that in mind when you’re leaving a gratuity.

For more, check out today’s Ask Laz video.

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