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March 6, 2015

Legislators weighing minimum wage hike for servers

Restaurant servers are pushing for legislation that would raise their minimum wage by 58 percent, to $9.15, which is currently the minimum wage for non-tipped workers.

Under current state law, servers make $5.78 an hour plus tips.

The Connecticut Restaurant Association, which opposed the bill, noted in testimony Thursday that if a server’s wages and tips don’t amount to $9.15, owners must pay the difference.

“Thus a tipped employee will never be paid below the minimum wage,” the association said.

Bradley T. White, a 99 Restaurants general manager in Glastonbury, submitted testimony saying that the average server makes approximately $20 per hour, including wages and tips.

But advocates for the bill — which include Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, the Connecticut Working Families Party, the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women and others — say that Connecticut’s tipped workers are nearly three times as likely as other workers to live in poverty.

New York recently increased its tipped minimum wage from $5 to $7.50.

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