Thursday, April 26, 2018

Cuomo seeks to improve wages, end tips

Employees at Santasiero’s, 1329 Niagara St., share concern over Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to eliminate the tip credit and raise hourly wages for servers. Cuomo says on his website that a raise in wages for employees reliant on tips to supplement their income will combat the significant fluctuation of wages from day to day that results in underpaid workers. The Department of Labor, led by Commissioner Roberta Reardon, began hearings to examine the issue of tip credits, with testimony from workers and businesses alike in March. The hearings will continue across the state until the end of June. John Brands Jr., head of operations at Santasiero’s, says that Cuomo’s proposal will hurt not only the bottom line for small businesses but will result in fewer jobs, because employee’s hourly wages will become unsustainable. “To supplement the wage, we’re going to have to increase our prices so we would see a drop off in business and probably need less servers,” Brands said. Santasiero’s waitress, Caitlyn Stein has years of experience working in the health care field and says that tips are more beneficial to her than a higher flat rate wage.  By Tara Hark and Max Wagner