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N.J. Democrats Propose Raising Wage for Tipped Workers

Democratic lawmakers in New Jersey are seeking to increase the $2.13-an-hour minimum wage for employees who receive tips.

A bill approved by the Assembly Labor Committee yesterday along party lines would require employers to pay at least 40 percent of the minimum wage, or $3.37 an hour, to tipped workers beginning in 2015 and at least 69 percent, or $5.93, in 2016.

New Jersey and 13 other states use the federal minimum tip wage of $2.13, according to data on the U.S. Labor Department website. That rate hasn’t been raised in more than 20 years and is lower than those in New Jersey’s neighboring states, Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter, a Democrat from Paterson, said in a statement. New York’s minimum for food-service workers is $5 an hour, while Pennsylvania’s is $2.83.

In November, New Jersey voters approved a constitutional amendment to raise the basic minimum wage by $1 to $8.25 an hour and tie future increases to changes in the U.S. Consumer Price Index. The increase went into effect Jan. 1. Democrats, who control the legislature, put the measure on the ballot after Republican Governor Chris Christie vetoed a minimum-wage increase.

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