Minnesota Republican nominee for governor, Tom Emmer, proposed that the meager tips from service employees be counted against their wages, forcing minimum wage for employees to fall below the state minimum to be as low as $2.13 per hour.
Muckraker’s Eric Kleefeld points out Minnesota is one of seven states that do not permit employers to pay less than the standard minimum wage to tipped workers. Federal law permits tipped workers’ wages to be as low as $2.13 per hour, absent state regulation to the contrary, with tips given to workers credited against the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour employers are required to pay.
Emmer then flaunted his outrage at waiters who are supposed to be earning $100,000 a year. His absurd six figure assumption illustrates how completely out of touch most politicians are with the interests, welfare, and will of the American people they are suppose represent.
Emmer picked the wrong political climate to flex his haughty “privileged” upper class muscles, and now he and his PR team have entered DEFCON 1 Denial phase and damage control mode.
Tom Emmer waited on tables Saturday at Ole Mexico. His campaign people shot a pathetic video of Emmer as he takes orders, brings food and clears tables. Emmer blames the media for “misreporting” his claims.
Apparently Emmer plans to flaunt his staged waiter’s experience at a town hall meeting he’s holding at Ole Mexico. The audience will be waiters and waitresses who earn minimum wage, plus tips.
In a pitiful act of pure desperation, Emmer has plastered denials all over his website claiming he never proposed cutting waiters’ wagers, and that he does not believe they make over $100,000 per year. There’s only one problem: his comments were memorialized in this video.
“You hear a story today,” says Emmer in the video, “where you have servers, people who are working here. They’ve been provided a job. Because they are able to collect not only a minimum wage–which we all want to make sure people have good living wages–but they are by law required to receive a certain wage. Well guess what? With the tips that they get to take home, there are some that are earning over $100,000 a year — more than the very people that are providing the jobs and investing not only their life savings but their family’s future. Something has to be done about that.”
According to Minnesota state website, the average waiter in Minnesota working full-time earns $19,000 a year including tips.
As Tim Krohn with the Free Press notes: “Even if given a good 20 percent tip by every customer, [to make $100K] a waiter would have to sell $500,000 in food, and not share any of the tips with the kitchen staff, which is the custom at most restaurants.”
It’s clear Emmer, a three term U.S. Representative, perceives himself as a member of the ruling elite whose job it is to remind America’s peasants of their servitude to this country’s aristocracy.