Better Than Nothing?
That is what people keep saying about the increase to the minimum wage in Hawaii. While the new law does meet President Obama's goal of increasing the minimum wage nationwide it does so at such a slow pace that it appears cost of living increases will already cause it to be obsolete at providing a living wage for women and domestic workers, who comprise the majority of mimimum wage earners.
"I always thought it's not a minimum wage, it's a survival wage," Abercrombie said. "And in today's world, that minimum wage is not a survival wage, certainly in Hawaii."
Hawaii's minimum wage has been $7.25 an hour since 2007. The new law will start to take effect on Jan 1, 2015 with a 50 cent raise. So in eight years, fifty cents is the best lawmakers could do? The minimum wage rate increases to $7.75 per hour beginning on 1/1/15, $8.50 per hour beginning on 1/1/16, $9.25 per hour beginning on 1/1/17, and $10.10 per hour beginning on 1/1/18.
About the tip credit. Lets look at the text right from Senate Bill 2609:
The hourly wage of a tipped employee may be deemed to be increased on account of tips if the employee is paid not less than:
(1) 25 cents;
(2) 50 cents per hour beginning January 1, 2015; and
(3) 75 cents per hour beginning January 1, 2016,
below the applicable minimum wage by the employee's employer and the combined amount the employee receives from the employee's employer and in tips is at least 50 cents more than the applicable minimum wage[.]; provided that beginning January 1, 2015, the combined amount the employee receives from the employee's employer and in tips is at least $7.00 more than the applicable minimum wage."