State Senator proposes bill to do away with the subminimum wage

State Sen. Cristina Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago) is sponsoring a bill to end the subminimum wage, which many restaurant workers are paid. (Dave Dahl/WJBC)

By Dave Dahl

SPRINGFIELD – Ah, that unspoken contract among the server, the diner, and the restaurateur – the twenty percent tip.

“Even though the workers have a subminimum hourly rate, the tips are supposed to make up for that. But that doesn’t always happen,” said the sponsor, State Sen, Cristina Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago). “This legislation is trying to account for that and essentially trying to make servers whole.”

Pacione-Zayas says the minimum wage is $13 now in Illinois – higher in Chicago – and the subminimum averages not quite $8 an hour.

She says the minimum wage should be for everyone, and the subminimum wage should be for the ash can.

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