Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

September 10, 2015

Tipped worker wage hike reversed by Portland City Council

Portland’s tipped workers thought they had a brief heyday earlier this summer when the City Council inadvertently voted to raise their base wage to $6.35 as part of a minimum wage hike vote.

But the City Council voted 7-2 Wednesday night to return their base wage to $3.75, according to the Portland Press Herald.

The vote came against the urging of several progressive groups, which urged the council to leave the raise intact.

“I don’t think there is any reason not to take the opportunity here to do what’s right,” said Julia Legler of Portland, who waitresses downtown. She told the newspaper that having a sub-minimum wage for tipped workers provides an unreliable source of income.

But the Maine Restaurant Association and several restaurant owners spoke against the increase. Bob Napolitano, who said he has owned and operated Bruno’s for 34 years, told councilors “this could be my last if you don’t keep the tipped wage” at the state level.

The original vote in July also included progressive increases of the city's minimum wage. In a Mainebiz poll in July, just over half of respondents said the minimum wage hike would have a negative impact on their business.

Sign up for Enews


Order a PDF