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Minimum wage for tipped employees is $2.13

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Most of the attention given to the federal minimum wage cites $7.25 per hour as the minimum a worker can be paid to work.

It's much less for workers who receive tips. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the minimum federal wage for employees who receive tips is only $2.13 per hour.

Many states have higher minimum wage requirements for tipped workers, but some do not.

On Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, announced he is introducing legislation to increase it.

In addition to increasing the regular minimum wage to $10.10, Brown proposes increasing the minimum wage for tipped workers to 70 percent of the regular federal minimum wage, and adjusting both for inflation.

“Every year, millions of Americans living on a tipped wage are working hard and taking responsibility, but are lucky just to get by,” Brown said in a statement on his senatorial website. “Earning a base of $2.13 an hour, even with tips, isn’t very much — not when you need to put food on the table, fill your gas tank, send your children to school, and provide a safe place for them to live. Every hardworking American deserves the opportunity to earn a living wage. Passing the Fair Minimum Wage Act and raising the tipped minimum wage is a step in the right direction.”

The National Restaurant Association opposes all attempts to increase the federal minimum wage.

"Pre-tax profit margins for restaurants typically range from 3 to 5 percent," according to the group. "Many restaurateurs would be forced to limit hiring, increase prices, cut employee hours or implement a combination of all three to pay for the wage increase. According to National Restaurant Association research, 58 percent of restaurant operators increased menu prices and 41 percent reduced employee hours following the 2007 minimum wage increase."

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