ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Restaurant servers, hotel housekeepers and other tipped workers in New York state will soon make $7.50 an hour before tips.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration announced Tuesday that his labor commissioner will make the change after a state Wage Board recommended it last month.

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“Business doesn’t have the excuse of saying, ‘We can’t afford any more, we’re broke,’ because we know they’re not. They’re making record profits,” Gov. Cuomo said.

Businesses may pay tipped workers less than the standard $8.75 minimum wage as long as gratuities make up the difference. Currently, servers make a tipped wage of $5 per hour.

The increase to $7.50 goes into effect Dec. 31.


Labor advocates pushed to abolish the tipped wage altogether so servers would make the minimum wage before tips. But restaurant owners said higher labor costs would be a burden and could force them to raise menu prices or reduce hours for workers.

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As WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported, Cuomo told a union gathering he also wants to up the overall minimum wage.

“We want to take it to $10.50 in the state of New York, the highest wage in the United States of America,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo’s plan is likely to meet stiff resistance in the Republican-controlled Senate, Lamb reported.

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