Bill targeting tipped workers’ wages advances out of Labor Committee

TRENTON – The Assembly Labor Committee this morning passed along party lines a bill aimed at benefiting workers who depend on tips to make a living.

Sponsored by Labor Committee Vice Chair Shavonda Sumter (D-35), A857 requires employers “to compensate their employees at an hourly rate of at least 40 percent of the minimum wage ($2.90 per hour) after June 30, 2012, and an hourly rate of at least 69% of the minimum wage ($5.00 per hour) after June 30, 2013 and beyond,” according to the legislature’s summary of the bill.

Three Republicans bucked it in the minority.

“This bill would increase costs to employers without a substantial increase to employees,” said Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-26), who led Republicans opposed to the bill.

As part of his resistance, Webber pointed out that New Jersey voters raised the state’s minimum wage last year by a dollar, to $8.25.

“This is a much more dramatic increase than what New Jersey put before the voters last year,” Webber said.

Sponsoring the bill, Sumter said as part of ensuring the effectiveness of the legislation, “It is important to work with different employers to make sure we’re not putting them out of business.”

Voting no on the bill: Webber, Assemblywoman Alison McHose (R-24) and Assemblyman Ronald Dancer (R-12).

Voting yes and moving the bill out of committee: Sumter, Assemblywoman Anette Quijano (D-20), Assemblyman Jason O’Donnell (D-31), Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (D-33), Assemblyman Craig Coughlin (D-19), and Committee Chairman Joe Egan (D-17) (pictured). Bill targeting tipped workers’ wages advances out of Labor Committee