News Deducting Tips
The Washington Restaurant Association endorsed Mike McGavick today. (Thanks tipster Bethany Jean Clement…the Stranger’s restaurant critic.)
As the WRA states in their press release (I’ve linked it below), the endorsement is a nod to McGavick’s support for the recent GOP bill to support a tip deduction for wait staff.
That is: Management could have counted tips toward a worker’s wage, and slashed their pay accordingly. This could have brought service workers’ wages down to around $2.15/hour. The tip deduction would have hit about 120,000 Washington State workers who depend on tips—a $950 million wage hit. The Washington Dept. of Labor said the federal law would have trumped our state law prohibiting tip deductions.
Here’s the WRA’s take on tip deduction (or tip credit as they like to call it) from the McGavick endorsement:
Recognizing tips as wages allows employers to equalize pay in the back-of-the-house and balance the wages for employees working on both sides of the counter. Back-of the-house-workers wages have dropped by three percent since the 1998 minimum wage initiative. Tipped employees have increased by 48 percent. Today, on average, a tipped employee earns more than $19 an hour.
Anyway, read the WRA’s entire McGavick endorsement below.
> WASHINGTON RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION ENDORSES McGAVICK
> FOR SENATE
> (Olympia, WA) - The Washington Restaurant
> Association (WRA) today announced its endorsement of
> U.S. Senate candidate Mike McGavick. By endorsing
> McGavick, the WRA leadership said it is looking for
> a change in Washington State's representation in the
> "other Washington" - one that creates a better
> atmosphere for jobs and the economy.
> "Mike McGavick is the candidate who best understands
> our issues and is looking out for all of Washington
> working families and businesses," said Anthony
> Anton, President and CEO. "With this endorsement,
> the WRA joins many other business organizations who
> agree with McGavick's approach to creating an
> atmosphere that encourages economic growth for
> Washington citizens."
> The WRA's endorsement comes after careful review of
> candidates' overall positions on business issues.
> Taxes, regulatory reform and slowing the growth of
> government are all priority issues for the WRA.
> Industry leaders view McGavick as the candidate best
> suited to promote a healthy economic climate in
> Washington State.
> The WRA has, for several years, been discouraged by
> congressional initiatives that put a
> disproportionate burden on small businesses.
> Leaders of the Olympia-based non-profit trade
> association said they decided to back Republican
> McGavick because of his strong support for small
> business and commitment to lessen the tax and
> regulatory burden on all Washington citizens.
> "Restaurant operators in Washington have the
> smallest profit margins in the country," said Anton.
> "We need someone who is interested in real solutions
> for our industry, not just election year politics."
> McGavick's opponent Maria Cantwell has recently made
> politically-motivated charges that congressional
> efforts to allow tips to be considered wages in
> Washington State would cut employee pay.
> "The congressional proposal to allow Washington to
> count tips as wages not only does not allow for
> cutting the minimum wage of tipped works, the
> Washington Restaurant Association would never allow
> such a pay slash and would vigorously fight any
> proposal that did," Anton added. "Tipped employees
> will always be able to not only make the full
> minimum wage but keep 100 percent of their tips. We
> are disappointment Senator Cantwell is playing
> politics with the livelihood of our employees and
> their families."
> "Recognizing tips as wages allows employers to
> equalize pay in the back-of-the-house and balance
> the wages for employees working on both sides of the
> counter. Back-of the-house-workers wages have
> dropped by three percent since the 1998 minimum wage
> initiative. Tipped employees have increased by 48
> percent. Today, on average, a tipped employee earns
> more than $19 an hour."
> The WRA will promote the McGavick candidacy to its
> 5000 restaurant and allied members throughout
> Washington State.