A new Republican bill in Olympia would suspend the requirement that the state adjust the minimum wage during periods of high unemployment.
A hearing on the bill is set for Tuesday, Jan. 31.
A different bill sponsored by House Republicans would would lower the minimum wage for servers, as long as the tips they receive put them at the $9.04 per hour that all other minimum-wage employees currently get.
The Republican bill would let employers pay all tip-earning staff $7.25 per hour, as long as their tips bring them up to the minimum wage others get. Federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.
Click here to see HB 2497, which is scheduled for a public hearing on Tuesday, Jan. 31.
It’s been explained to me that restaurant owners often try to pay their kitchen and dishroom staff a higher wage, so they can get paid a little more fairly compared to the tip-earning employees, who can sometimes bring in tons of money with tips. But, as the minimum wage rises each year with inflation, they’re finding it harder and harder to level the playing field.
Click here to see more on the state’s minimum wage and past adjustments to it.
Both bills are sponsored by Cary Condotta, R-East Wenatchee.