Despite encountering strong opposition to its proposals to raise the federal minimum wage and rewrite the Department of Labor regulations defining the exemptions from overtime under the FLSA, the White House is now requesting Congress raise the minimum wage for “tipped” employees. Through a report released last week, the President argues that the minimum wage for “tipped” employees should be increased because women make up the majority of workers in tipped occupations. The report released by the Administration notes that women “account for three-quarters of all workers in predominantly tipped occupations who would benefit” from a raise in the tipped minimum wage. Not surprisingly, the report also contends that raising the tipped minimum wage would not impact employment rates. However, it is more than possible that to offset the increased labor costs, employers will reduce working hours. Like the President’s other proposed changes to the FLSA, any change to the tipped minimum wage is likely to meet stiff opposition in Congress.
We will continue to monitor these developments as well as similar state law initiatives (some of which have been successful) on this blog.