Waiters at Comal. Photo: Postcard PR
Photo: Postcard PR

Berkeley is currently considering raising the minimum wage, and part of the debate has focused on tip penalties — in other words, employers could deduct the tips an employee receives from their hourly wage obligations.

In an Opinionator column published on Berkeleyside, Van Nguyen, coordinator of the Restaurant Opportunities Center of the Bay, argues that this illegal mechanism (according to California Labor Code Section 351) will exacerbate the economic instability of workers.

“Across the country there are many efforts to abolish the tipped minimum wage,” he says. “There is no reason why a leader like Berkeley should be regressing on a destructive path, while others are moving forward.”

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