Governor signs tipped minimum wage increase into law

STATE HOUSE – Gov. Gina Raimondo today signed legislation sponsored by Sen. Gayle L. Goldin (D-Dist. 3, Providence) and Rep. Aaron Regunberg (D-Dist.4, Providence) to increase the minimum wage for tipped workers in Rhode Island by $1 over the next two years.

Under the law, the minimum hourly base rate for tipped workers will rise from $2.89 to $3.39 on Jan. 1, 2016, and to $3.89 on Jan. 1, 2017.

While the sponsors say they would ultimately like tipped workers to be protected by the same hourly minimum wage law as other workers, they believe the bill is progress.

The sponsors argued that raising the rate will help stabilize paychecks in volatile professions, and that tips are supposed to be a way to reward good service, not the way to pay most of workers’ salaries. Only in tipped professions are customers expected to pay employees’ salaries directly, and nobody’s salary should be so dependent on customers’ mood or generosity, they said.

For more information, contact:
Daniel Trafford, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903