Supporters of the legislation, which would extend the minimum wage ordinance to subcontractors such as those at the Philadelphia International Airport, packed Council chambers during a committee hearing last week. Credit: Charles Mostoller / Metro
A bill was introduced today that would not only end the allowance of a sub-minimum wage for employees who receive tips but also raise the overall minimum wage to $12 an hour.
State Sens. Daylin Leach (D-Montogomery/Delaware) and Mike Stack (D-Philadelphia) introduced S.B. 1317, saying that poverty wages have been putting an impossible burden on working families for too long.
“Adjusting the minimum wage to account for inflation prevents working families from being trapped in poverty and reduces dependence on public assistance,” Stack said. "Fair wages for a day's work is fundamental to achieving the American dream and generating self-determination and independence.”
Leach went on to say that tipped minimum wage hasn't changed in more than 20 years and business owners have for too long been taking advantage of low-wage, disproportionately female workers. "“Pennsylvania's economy will grow as over 1 million workers in PA would see their wages rise if we pass this bill."
If this bill passes, it would index the minimum wage to inflation each year. Currently, 11 states do it that way.
“In Pennsylvania, nearly two-thirds of minimum wage workers and workers in tipped occupations are women," said Wendy Voet, executive director of Women's Way. “In order to move the needle on women’s status as a whole, and to support the economic success of our communities, we need to support policies and programs to enhance women’s economic security.”
Current Pennsylvania law allows for a tip credit that permits employers to use tips against all but $2.83 of the current $7.25 minimum wage. The federal minimum wage for tipped workers is $2.13, and has not changed for more than 20 years.
Seven states with some of the country’s highest minimum wages don’t allow the tip credit, the senators noted.