ROC United Applauds Gov. Cuomo for Proposal to Investigate Eliminating Subminimum Wage System in New York State
Today, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo directed the Commissioner of Labor to hold hearings to examine eliminating the subminimum wage system in his annual State of the State. Governor Cuomo highlighted the disproportionate impact of this system on women workers and workers of color, and the link between the tipped minimum wage and extreme rates of sexual harassment in the restaurant industry.
Saru Jayaraman, President of Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United, stated:
“We applaud Governor Cuomo for advancing one of the most important policy proposals of the #MeToo moment. Governor Cuomo recognizes that the subminimum wage system directly correlates with higher rates of sexual harassment. Eliminating it has the potential to cut those rates in half in the restaurant industry — the U.S. industry with the highest rate of sexual harassment claims — as it has done in California, which doesn’t have a subminimum tipped wage. No other intervention has this potential. We look forward to working with the Governor to achieve One Fair Wage in New York State.”
Brian Keyser, owner of Casellula restaurant in New York City, stated:
“I applaud Governor Cuomo’s announcement that he will investigate eliminating the subminimum wage system. In my years of experience working in and then running restaurants, I know that supporting all of my staff with fair wages improves their performance, reduces turnover, and contributes to the long-term success and stability of my business. One Fair Wage promotes the safety and well-being of all of my employees – it’s good for my business and it’s the right thing to do.“
In his proposal, Governor Cuomo cited ROC United’s research on the link between the tipped minimum wage and sexual harassment in the restaurant industry. Read the report, “The Glass Floor,” here: https://rocunited.org/
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