Tuesday, March 5, 2013

An Idea for David Burley

Do people who work part-time need money less than people who work full-time?

That makes no sense. But people who are against raising the minimum wage seem to think that because 80 percent of people who receive minimum wage are part-timers, that's a reason to not raise it. This was repeated by local restaurateur David Burley in his Star Tribune op-ed today, when he wrote,

A national survey found that 70 percent of workers receiving minimum wage as their base salary at a restaurant are under age 25, and 80 percent work part time. That means they’re working and going to school, or working and raising kids, or working two jobs.
They're working and raising kids, or they're working two jobs. (Or they can't get enough hours because their employer doesn't want to pay for health care.) Do any of those indicate that part-time workers need money less than full-time workers?

Burley describes the restaurants he owns as places where servers are well-compensated, mostly through tips. They make an average of $24 an hour, while statewide "the average is around $18 an hour." Both amounts are well above the proposed minimum wage. So he thinks that if he has to increase the amount he pays, his employees will have a big bonus, while he'll be out the money.

Especially since he will soon start paying "$1,600 per employee in new annual health care expenses." Let's see, doing the math, that's only $133 a month per person. What kind of health insurance can you get for that? None that I'm familiar with that covers anything.

I wonder if all of that $24 an hour Burley's workers earn is reported to the IRS. We'll assume it is, since Burley is being so public about it.  So I have a suggestion for him:

Raise your wages to $24 an hour (or maybe $22.50 an hour if you want to charge your employees for the meager health insurance you're planning to offer soon), increase your prices accordingly, and put up a sign that says NO TIPPING.

You can then market your restaurants based on the no tipping policy, and everyone will be happy.

1 comment:

Gina said...

I love it! No tipping! I didn't see Burley's op-ed, but there's always grousing about raising the minimum wage, it seems. As someone actively looking for a part-time job, I've been noticing the number of employers who are taking advantage of not paying benefits for part-time employees, i.e. hospitals actually posting jobs for important positions like doctors, nurses, all sorts of technicians. This could be the wave of the employment future since I've heard whispers that corporate America has begun the practice also. If the minimum wage is raised, that will help part-timers who still wouldn't get benefits.