Business owners gave a Missouri House panel mixed opinions on the state's minimum wage law Wednesday.
Several business owners said they want to repeal the minimum wage increase that applies to tipped employees, which was passed by voters in 2006. Currently, minimum wage for tipped employees in Missouri is $3.63 an hour. The proposal would keep the minimum wage that way for now and would raise it when the federal rate increases. Federal minimum wage for tipped employees is $2.13 an hour.
Business owners said any future increases tied to inflation would make it more difficult to stay in business, especially in a harsh economy.
Conversely, the labor rights group Missouri Jobs for Justice called for the law to remain as is. The group's director, Laura Granich, argued that a minimum wage increase isn't a raise, but it's "really just a way of making sure you don't fall behind."
She also said that workers who don't make enough money to keep up with inflation often turn to state services funded by tax dollars.
Should the Missouri House keep wages for tipped employees the same?