Maine Gov. puts 3-week hold on new wage increases for tipped workers
- Maine Gov. Paul LePage announced a three-week delay before the state’s new minimum wage affecting tipped workers would take effect, reports the Boston Globe. Maine voters previously approved a referendum to raise the minimum wage from $7.50 to $12 an hour by 2020. The effective date for the change is Jan. 7.
- Under the new law, tipped workers, including bartenders and restaurant servers, would see their base pay rise from $3.75 an hour to $5. As the minimum wage is phased in, the tip credit would be phased out so that tipped workers also will earn $12 an hour. This portion of the new law won’t take effect until Jan. 31.
- LePage cited possible legislative changes as the reason for delaying the minimum wage change for tipped workers, says the Boston Globe. Some lawmakers might try to reinstate the tip credit, the governor said.
Employers concerned about complying with the minimum-wage changes for tipped workers received a reprieve. Maine’s Labor Department won’t enforce the law before Jan. 31. Maine lawmakers could further delay and possibly convolute the new minimum wage if they decide to reinstate the tip credit.
Meanwhile, employers must wait out the decision and be aware that the Labor Department could enforce the law as is by Jan. 31. The debate over wage increases in the food service industry has reached several states after the passage of local referendums last month. Employers interested in knowing which states have approved such laws should take a look at our election night roundup.