Archive for Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Kansas minimum wage hike takes effect next Wednesday

June 24, 2009


— After more than two decades of struggle, the Kansas minimum wage is finally getting a boost where it no longer will be the nation’s lowest.

A law that takes effect July 1 bumps the hourly wage from $2.65 to $7.25, starting Jan. 1. That will mirror the federal minimum after July 24 and comes as the state’s unemployment rate stands at 6.9 percent, the highest this decade.

Supporters call it both a needed symbolic gesture and a practical move to give an estimated 20,000 Kansans a chance for a pay increase after the first of the year. Opponents say it will raise employer costs and is an example of government meddling in the marketplace.


Shane Garrett 8 years, 6 months ago

Does not minimum wage equal minimun work? So why tip anyone at all anymore. I used to work at bagging food stuff and carring it to the customers car, a long time ago, and no one ever tipped me or any of the other bag boys. And minimum wage was 1.05 and hour.

Raider 8 years, 6 months ago

I'm with consumer and wally. My tipping will decrease. I'll probably still tip but just not as much. This will hurt restaurant owners, consumers and ultimately the people who this law is trying to help. While giving them an hourly wage increase, the actual salary these people make will most likely be cut drastically.

jenner 8 years, 6 months ago

Does this even affect server's wages? Servers wages are ALWAYS less the standard minimum wage. 2.13/hr is the going rate, which means no paycheck in most cases, as taxes are taken on the tips you make out of that hourly wage... If this raises the server minimum wage, I highly doubt it will be up to 7.29/hr. Does anyone know?

blindrabbit 8 years, 6 months ago

Good news: Boy, to be lower than Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and the rest of Olde Dixie was sure embarassing. But we've still got Fred Phelps; and we're about to retrieve Smilin Sam (what a nut) back from Washington. Now let's put the evolution debate to bed.

George_Braziller 8 years, 6 months ago

Take $7.25 an hour. Now take that times the number of hours per year one works for a 40 hour week, 52 weeks a year which is 2080 hours.

That works out to a whopping $15,800 a year. Break that down to a monthly "salary" and you have a gross salary of $1316 a month. Take another 12 1/2% or so off for taxes what do you have to live on every month? Not a hell of a lot.

Let's see. Should I throw some cat food in the microwave or pay the rent?

Mary Ellen Hall 8 years, 6 months ago

I'm terribly confused. Aside from the fact that my husband and I eat out essentially 7 nights a week, my son is a server at a downtown establishment so this topic is of interest. I've tried searching online for the definitive answer and haven't been able to locate it, but I believe the minimum wage for servers will remain $2.13 or whatever it is. It's just that if their tips plus their wage don't average out $7.25/hour, the employer must pay the difference. And it's very rare that this is the case because servers get cut if they aren't busy. Are there any restaurant owners reading that can clarify???

gsxr600 8 years, 6 months ago

Everytime the minimum wage goes up, it seems like my money's worth less. I'm not experiencing a wage increase and I'll be able to afford even less now. Great.

I used to work at a fast food place a few years back when I was 16. I made $5.85 an hour. Over hard work and time I made it up to $7 an hour. Then this federal min wage increase came along and my employer had to pay $6.55 an hour or something like that for brand new trainees. I was still stuck at $7, basically increasing my cost of living. My pay didn't get bumped up like everyone else did, and I got no monetary credit for my experience.

And now it's happening again. It might not be so bad for people earning $15-20 an hour, but for someone that makes $8.75 right now, it seems like my pay will earn me less and less.

Thinking_Out_Loud 8 years, 6 months ago

gsrx600, how much did your cost of living go up when the minwage was raised to $6.55?

And, Raider, if you can't afford to tip, you can't afford to eat out. And if you're angry at the government for raising minimum wage...don't eat out. You're taking your frustrations out on the wrong people. If it's really a hardship for you, stop electing people who will pass minimum wage increases. And write the representatives you have and tell them you won't vote for them anymore if they pass minimum wage increases.

But for goodness sake, don't take this out on the people who are making minimum wage.

gccs14r 8 years, 6 months ago

Yes, let's not have any wage or labor standards, so we can go back to the halcyon days of 1840.

thefisherman 8 years, 6 months ago

At least now our servers will be paying their fair share of income taxes. Even with most employers factoring in an assumed amount for tips and then withholding taxes on that, it doesn't even come close to the actual amount most servers are making.

I think it is safe to say that in the majority of cases, the excess tip money goes completely unreported with the recipient paying no income tax or social security/medicare taxes on it.

Lacy Mohler 8 years, 6 months ago

What I've read is jobs depending on tips must average $7.25/hour with tips and pay. If a waiter doesn't average $7.25/hr, the employer must make up the difference. Don't know yet how this will affect my tipping practices. How does the state/IRS monitor this?

On the east coast it used to be that baggers/carry-out workers at grocery stores worked for tips only. Grocery shopping could be a real nightmare in big cities. Grocery carts weren't allowed to be pushed to your car, they lost too many carts to the homeless. You had to pull your car up to a loading area at the store. Shopping had to be done in pairs or pay a big tip to a carry-out worker to watch your groceries while you ran to get your car, otherwise your groceries were stolen by the time you got back.

Starness34 8 years, 6 months ago

I will still tip the same if I'm getting good service.

laffn 8 years, 6 months ago

This will only hurt the peps that it was "supposedly" meant to help. Service workers and their customers have worked on a unwritten rule, I don't get paid unless I give you good service and you tip me... now that I am guaranteed a wage I might have less incentive to work for that gratuity and you absolutely have less incentive to tip me. I used to not care that the service workers "might" not be reporting all tips and paying all taxes... Not any more... Maybe we should get 1099 forms with our debit/credit card receipts

Boeing 8 years, 6 months ago

To the geniuses saying that they will tip less to wait staff - if a server is already getting only $2.13 an hour when the minimum wage is $2.65, why would their $2.13 go up if the minimum wage did? Even before this change, it's really quite clear that the minimum wage rule does not apply to them...

Raider 8 years, 6 months ago

thinking Out Loud:

Please refresh my memory. Where in my posting did I say I can't afford to tip, and I can't afford to go out? I must have missed that. Fact is, I can and do tip very well. 20% on average, and sometimes more for good service. Don't put words in my mouth or try and "read between the lines".

I've waited tables before and know what I tough job it is. That's why I try and tip well for decent service. However, IF (and we're still not sure yet) this new law constitues a $5.00 / hour wage increase then I will tip slightly less. IF the employer has to pay an additional $5.00 per hour, it has to come from somewhere, and if we're taking about the restaurant industry then that will trickle down to meal prices.

Again, it sounds like we're still not clear on whether or not this will affect server wages, so I will take a 'wait and see' approach.

gccs14r 8 years, 6 months ago

Marion, I'd say it's because you're cheap and don't understand economics. If no one in this country has a job, who's going to be able to buy anything?

gccs14r 8 years, 6 months ago

Your business model involves bulk drivel for hire? No wonder Americans won't work for you.

Thinking_Out_Loud 8 years, 6 months ago

Raider, you wrote "I'm with consumer1..." who wrote that restaurants will price him out of the ability to eat out. You followed it up with "My tipping will decrease." You're not in that position? Great.

Then don't cut your tips to waiters because you're mad at the Legislature. The waiters didn't pass the law, or sign it.

uneducated 8 years, 6 months ago

Restaurant owners do not have to pay their tipped employees if these employees average minimum wage between their hourly pay and their declared tips. More than likely this will help servers pay for their taxes, which are never covered at $2.13 an hour. I have never owed less than $1,500 at the end of the year. For those of you who don't think you need to tip your servers any longer...go to Burger King or, better yet, get off your duff and make something yourself. Many servers are not waiting on you because they like you, they're doing it to pay their rent or to pay for school. The flexible hours that restaurants offer make it a haven for students. I worked two jobs and finished up school at KU and could never understand that people just didn't know that we didn't receive paychecks. I worked hard and barely made enough to pay my bills and student loans. 15% is bare minimum. If you're unwilling to pay it then try telling your server up front and see where it gets you.

youarewhatyoueat 8 years, 6 months ago

There's some real winners here in Lawrence...this is NOT the waitstaff wage, this is for certain types of farm workers, etc that aren't legally bound to the federal regulation but only the state regulation.

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