Lawmakers, servers move to bring back tip credit

Servers, legislators want tip credit restored

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --

Mike Hanson has been a server for years -- since college.
He has an accounting job now but keeps waiting tables because it pays well.

Lately, Hanson has been doing a lot number crunching outside of work.
He's one of thousands of servers across Maine worried about Maine's tip credit going away.
Mike's done the math and doesn't like what he sees.

“It would be detrimental to my wages,” said Hanson.  

Under the new law, Maine's minimum wage will eventually be 12 dollars an hour.
The tip credit will be phased out.
Mike thinks menus prices will go up and customers will stop tipping him.
The result -- a big pay cut.

Some legislators on both sides of the aisle agree.
They're sponsoring legislation to re-instate the tip credit with a few changes.
Maine's AFL-CIO isn't happy.

“We're asking the legislature and expecting the legislature to respect the will of the voters and to implement and honor what they passed into law,” said Matt Schlobohm

The labor group says there are servers making below minimum wage who need more income.
It also thinks voters read the law and want it enacted as written.

Even Hanson acknowledges his logic may have flaws.
There's no guarantee he won't get any tips.

That doesn't make Hanson and thousands more restaurant workers like him less fearful.

They’ve formed a Facebook group to unite to demand the tip credit come back.  
They say more lawmakers need to reach out to Maine's food service workers.

The draft bill is going to be looked at by lawmakers in Augusta very soon.
NEWS CENTER is told a public hearing on it will happen but has yet to be scheduled.

Copyright 2017 WCSH


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