California restaurant employees who earn tips, such as servers, bartenders, hosts, and server assistants, are in some ways more fortunate than those who do the same job in most other states around the nation.
In most states, there is a minimum wage for hourly employees and a much lower minimum wage for workers who make most of their income from tips. For example, in South Carolina, an employee working a retail job is entitled to federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. An employee at a local chain restaurant waiting tables is entitled to only $2.13 per hour from their employer, as long as they earn more than that in tips. If no customers came in one day, and a server earned less than $2.13 per hour, employer would be required to pay the difference between $2.13 and $7.25 per hour after employees tips are applied towards the deficiency. Continue reading