Tenn. bill would allow tipped employees to earn minimum wage plus tips

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WVLT/WREG) -- A new bill proposed in the Tennessee legislature would allow tipped employees to earn minimum wage plus tips.

SB 1851, proposed by Sen. Raumesh Akbari, would increase wages of tipped employees from the current $2.13 an hour plus tips to $7.25 an hour plus tips.

“The minimum wage for tipped workers in Tennessee is $2.13 an hour and it hasn’t changed since 1996,” Sen. Akbari said. “Tipped workers already have unpredictable pay and schedules. The least we can do is abolish the sub-minimum wage in Tennessee and provide some financial predictability to the thousands of hard-working people in the service industry.”

WREG reported the bill was introduced on Friday and passed first consideration on January 27.

Right now in Tennessee, tipped employees earn $2.13 an hour on top of tips. If the tipped hourly rate doesn't meet minimum wage, the employer must pay the employee the amount up to minimum wage.

The new bill would do away that mandate because employees would make $7.25.

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