Half of people in New York have student loan debt. Many of them are waiting tables to pay off their student loan debt. They fear that the state’s tip credit will be reduced. The tip credit allows bars and restaurants to pay people less than minimum wage because of the gratuities that waiters and waitresses get.7
Student loan debt is at an all-time high in New York. The student loan debt in New York is currently $90.6 million. Forty-five percent of people who are between the ages of 18 and 35 have student loan debt. Twenty percent of people in New York owe outstanding student loan debt.
Tezra Bryant is a veteran of the New York hospitality scene. She stated that many people are using the tips that they make to pay off their student loans. People do not want to see their incomes decrease.
Employers can reduce base pay due to the tip credit. However, many workers see it as a win-win situation. They are able to make a lot of money in tips. In fact, many people are making 20 percent or more in tips.
A group of restaurant workers in New York gathered at Jim Fong Restaurant in Chinatown. They were rallying for Governor Cuomo to preserve this tip credit. Many business owners are against the tip credit because they say that they will be forced to raise the menu prices.
They also stated that if the tip credit is eliminated, then they may get rid of the tips altogether. The business owners will pay the workers a base hourly pay. However, many New Yorkers can expect their wages to decrease if this tip credit is eliminated. Many of them are making over $25 per hour in tips.
Tezra believes that the tip credit needs to stay. Many people have student loan debt and cannot afford for their pay to be reduced.