Mayor Proposes Raising Minimum Wage For Tipped Workers, But Not To Full $15 An Hour

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Photo credit Craig Dellimore/WBBM
By WBBM Newsradio 780 AM & 105.9 FM

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Mayor Lightfoot has a new plan to raise the minimum wage that would be a better deal for tipped workers than her last proposal.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot unveiled a plan Wednesday to raise Chicago’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2021, and raise, but not eliminate, the sub-minimum wage earned by tipped workers.

Right now, workers who can receive tips have a lower minimum wage than others - $6.40 an hour compared to the city's $13 an hour minimum wage. 

Server Matt Jones told the budget hearing he wants the sub-minimum wage to stay, because it works for his high-end restaurant.

Progressive Alderman Susan Sadlowski Garza wants one wage.

"Even if it was $15 an hour, you would still be making $15 an hour with tips on top of that," she said.

"Great, but I make more than $15 an hour with tips on top of that now," Jones said.

Alderman Tom Tunny, a restaurateur, said there are unintended consequences for some workers.

Lightfoot proposed raising the sub-minimum wage for tipped workers to $8.40 next year. She said she will revisit the issue as her administration studies the economic impact of tipped wages.