ALBANY, N.Y. — According to www.lohud.com, lawmakers in Albany, New York, recently passed legislation to mandate that carwash employees in Long Island, New York City and Westchester County receive the state’s standard hourly minimum wage.
For the suburbs, the current minimum wage is $12, while in the city it’s $15 for large employers and $13.50 for small employers, the article continued.
Workers in the service industry, such as those employed by carwashes, currently earn below the standard minimum wage because of the tip-credit law, the article added.
For instance, service employees in Long Island and Westchester County earn $9.05 an hour, and the remaining $2.95 per hour is to be paid through hourly tips or paid by the employer if the tips are below the standard hourly rate, the article noted.
However, advocates of the law said that employers often don’t make up the difference, leaving current carwash employees, particularly those in the immigrant community, susceptible to wage theft, the article stated.
Workers would still be able to earn tips on top of the minimum wage earnings, the article noted.
Republicans did not support the bill, saying it would put more burden on businesses, the article continued.
“Why not just continue to use the current system that is in place and hold bad actors accountable?” Sen. Fred Akshar, R-Binghamton, said on the Senate floor.
“The current system isn’t working,” responded Sen. Jessica Ramos, D-Queens.
Lawmakers have proposed similar laws twice before — in 2017 and 2018 — but the bills failed to make it out of the Republican-controlled Senate at the time, the article stated.
Since Democrats now control the state government, the bill easily cleared both chambers, and it now merely awaits Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s signature, the article noted.
If approved, the law would go into effect 30 days from it being signed, the article concluded.
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