After a flurry of proposals on minimum wage hikes and tip credit elimination at the local, state, and federal levels this year, union activists aren’t done yet.
Campaigns led by tipped employees to save tip credits prevailed this year in Maryland (and local Prince George’s County), Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania. Local fights in Illinois had mixed success: Chicago city aldermen approved tip credit elimination with endorsement from the local industry association but despite opposition from local employees, but neighboring Evanston’s city council blocked a tip credit elimination proposal from moving forward.
A federal bill introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Bobby Scott to raise the minimum wage to $17 per hour nationwide and eliminate the federal tip credit failed to even receive a hearing in Congress.
But activists are still pressing some remaining wage hike and anti-tip credit campaigns this year, and already filing proposals for next year.
Learn more about what’s on deck for the rest of 2023 and what’s already been proposed for 2024:
Pending in 2023
- Montgomery County, MD: Dozens of tipped restaurant employees and local restaurant operators testified before the County Council on how eliminating the tip credit would hurt their livelihoods and chances of restaurant survival. Now, County Councilmembers are slated to review Bill 35-23 to eliminate the tip credit in a work session scheduled for January 18, 2024.
- Carbondale, IL: Anti-tip credit activists at One Fair Wage gave a presentation before Carbondale’s City Council regarding a proposal to eliminate the city’s tip credit. Potential legislation to match the ordinance recently passed in Chicago was discussed.
Coming up in 2024
- Alaska: A proposed ballot measure would raise the state minimum wage to $15 per hour by July 1, 2027 and expand required paid sick leave. Alaska has no tip credit, so this increase would also affect restaurants and their tipped employees. The measure is currently gathering signatures, but if certified would appear before voters on the November 2024 ballot.
- Arizona: A proposed ballot measure would raise the state’s minimum wage to $18 per hour and fully eliminate the state tip credit. Arizona’s minimum wage is currently $13.85 per hour with a $3.00 tip credit. Proponents have filed the measure but it must be approved by the secretary of state before it can begin collecting signatures to qualify for the November 2024 ballot.
- California: A certified ballot measure would raise the state minimum wage to $18 per hour by 2026. California currently has no tip credit, so this would also affect restaurants and their tipped employees. The measure has been approved for the ballot and will appear before voters in November 2024.
- Ohio: A proposed ballot measure would raise the state minimum wage up to $15 per hour on January 1, 2028 and fully eliminate the state’s tip credit. The measure is currently gathering signatures to appear on the ballot in November 2024.
- Oklahoma: A proposed ballot measure would raise the state minimum wage to $15 per hour by January 1, 2029. The measure would remove the language in state statute stating that Oklahoma abides by federal minimum wage law, which sets the current regular minimum wage at $7.25 per hour and the tipped minimum wage at $2.13 per hour. The measure has been filed but must be approved by the secretary of state before it can begin gathering signatures to appear on the November 2024 ballot.
- Massachusetts: A proposed ballot measure would eliminate the state’s tip credit by 2029. Massachusetts currently has a $15 hourly regular minimum wage, but also saw a bill introduced earlier this year to raise this standard rate up to $20 per hour. This ballot measure currently is in its first round of signature gathering, which if completed can be enacted by the state legislature. If not passed by state lawmakers, the measure will go to a second round of signature gathering to place it on the ballot in November 2024.
- Michigan: A proposed ballot measure would raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 by January 1, 2027 and eliminate the state tip credit. This new ballot measure submitted signatures for approval for the November 2024 ballot, but failed to be approved by the state’s Board of Canvassers based on language changes to the text. Proponents of the measure have filed a lawsuit with the Attorney General to restore the measure to the November 2024 ballot.
- Missouri: One proposed ballot measure would raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 by 2026 (maintaining the existing 50% tip credit), and a second ballot measure would allow local jurisdictions to independently raise their minimum wage rates higher than the state rate. Missouri’s minimum wage is currently $12, following a statewide ballot measure that passed in 2018. Both measures are currently gathering signatures to be approved for the November 2024 ballot.