According to an article in the September 24, 2010 Wall Street Journal, the New York State Department of Labor has confirmed that its new Wage Order on the restaurant industry will be sent for publication in the State Register within the next few weeks. Following publication, there will be a 45-day comment period before final implementation of the Wage Order.
The revised Wage Order includes recommendations increasing wage rates for tipped employees in the food service industry to $5.00 from $4.65 by January 2011; allowing employers to mandate tip pooling; and exempting restaurants from giving employees a weekly allowance for “wash-and-wear uniforms,” such as tee shirts with logos. Restaurants are now required to pay between $4.30 and $9.00 a week for cleaning any required “uniforms.”
The revised Wage Order will be based on recommendations contained in the September 18, 2009 Report and Recommendation of a Wage Board that was appointed by the Commissioner of Labor to examine and review existing minimum wage orders governing the restaurant and hotel industry.