By Bob Katzen
Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier (D-Pittsfield) and Senator Pat Jehlen (D-Somerville) unveiled their bill to raise the tipped Massachusetts minimum wage to the general minimum wage by 2028 and match any increase after that. The current tipped worker minimum wage is $4.35 per hour while the general minimum wage is $12 per hour and will rise to $15 by 2023.
The bill would raise the minimum wage for tipped workers incrementally over several years to $13.95, and then in 2028 require that all workers be paid the full minimum wage under the minimum wage law.
“There are thousands of food service workers in Massachusetts who struggle to make ends meet for themselves and their families because they are living off tips,” said Jehlen. “And if you’re dependent on tips, you depend on your manager for good shifts, you depend on cooks and other staff members to help you do your job, and you depend on customers’ whims. The sub-minimum wage creates too many opportunities that can be exploited by predators. This needs to end.”
“The women who put food on our tables cannot afford to put food on their own family’s tables,” said Rep. Farley-Bouvier. “This is an issue that disproportionately affects women, as well as people of color and immigrants.”