Starting Jan 1, 2010, the changes to the New York State Department of Labors Hospitality Industry wage order include an increase to $5 from $4.65 in the minimum hourly wage rate for tipped food-service employees. Minimum wages for service employees earning tips will rise to $5.65 from $4.90, while tipped service employees working in resort hotels will earn a minimum wage of $4.90 rather than $4.35. Also, if the time elapsed between the start of an hourly restaurant or hotel employee’s work day and the end is more than 10 hours including off-duty time the employee must be paid for one extra hour at minimum wage.
In addition to the increase in minimum wage, the DOL will also allow employers to mandate whether tip sharing or tip pooling takes place within their establishment. Previously, restaurant operators could mandate tip sharing but not tip pooling. The recommendations also relieve restaurant operators from having to pay for laundering of uniforms, providing they are of the wash and wear type. Restaurants will also be able to share in the proceeds from Administrative Charges, providing they clearly indicate to customers where the money will go.