Taking a cue from the John Pierpoint Morgan "Everyone Who Works For Me Can Go Screw Themselves" school of thought, one Minnesota restaurant has decided to pay for its employees' $0.75 hourly raise by making its employees pay for it.
David Burley and Stephanie Shimp own the Blue Plate Co., which oversees eight restaurants in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Recently, in advance of Minnesota's upcoming wage hike (to a whole $8/hour*! WHOA THERE, BIG SPENDER!), they sent their employees a memo. Here's how the memo started:
"Today you are getting a raise!" the memo said, mentioning the additional $. 75 per hour that servers, bussers and bartenders will get.
"It is a well deserved raise. We know that you work hard, every shift, every meal, every day. When this raise shows up in your paycheck, we want it to be visible in the warm welcome and bright smile you bring to our guests."
Is your bullshit meter going at full steam yet? Are you waiting for the other shoe to drop? You really should be, because it's a doozy:
Owners David Burley and Stephanie Shimp went on to say that the mandatory wage increase, plus rising expenses due to the health care law, will cost the company $1.25 million.
While Blue Plate will absorb most of that cost, the company also slightly increased prices last week, and now intends to pass along the fees to servers when a credit card is used to pay the tip.
Since most customers pay with credit cards, the hit to servers is estimated to be 2 percent of their tips, on top of the taxes they already pay.
So they're actually attempting to circumvent the minimum wage law by making servers, bartenders, and bussers pay for their own wage increase. Go ahead and pause to take a few seconds for your brain to adjust to the implications of that, because the level of dickery there is more than a bit mind-blowing.
They're also not the only ones doing it: Parasole Restaurant Holdings, another successful restaurant group in the area, also engages in the practice. Additionally, several restaurants in the state, such as River Oasis Restaurant in Stillwater, Minnesota, have been engaging in sad, passive-aggressive dickery like adding a visible "Minimum Wage Fee" onto their checks — a practice which has thankfully, hilariously, and predictably backfired.
For those of you thinking "well, this might just be the cost of actually treating workers like human beings! Businesses can't afford to get by! THANKS, OBAMA!" you're going to want to put those third-grade-reading-level Talking Points back in their holster, because both Blue Plate and Parasole are extremely profitable:
Thanks to no excuse absentee balloting, early voting in Minnesota is now easy as 1, 2, 3.
1. Apply for an absentee ballot from the Minnesota Secretary of State by clicking here, or visit your city or county election office. Election officials will mail the absentee ballot materials to you after receiving your application. You do not have to provide an excuse for not voting on Election Day in person.
2. Fill out the absentee ballot. You'll be asked to have a register voter or notary verify that you received a blank ballot and you were the person to vote.
3. Return the absentee ballot via mail, fax, email, or drop it off in person at your city or county election office the day before the election.
In the past, voters had to provide an approved excuse for not voting in person. With no excuse absentee balloting, you don't have to worry about work, weather or wheels stopping you from voting early.
Early voting opens this month, June 27, for the Aug. 12 primary election. Applications are being accepted now for no excuse absentee ballots. Not registeed to vote? Voter registration information will be included with your absentee ballot.
There's no excuse not to vote in 2014! Support our DFL-endorsed candidates and vote today.
More Work with Less Workers Means Increased Injury Rates
It is no secret that the hospitality industry is coming back after several difficult years, but what does that mean for the workers in this industry?
With higher workloads and fewer workers, not everyone is benefiting fully. Profits that are coming in to the hotels are coming on the backs of workers.
Minnesota House concurred with the Minnesota Senate and raised the state Minimum Wage from 6.15 an hour, one of the lowest in the nation, to 9.50 by August of 2016 making it the the fifth highest in country.
The legislation does NOT include any hospitality industry "tip penalty" or "Super Wage". UNITE HERE with it's community and faith based partners pushed back the Industry to assure that all of Minnesota's nearly 50,000 servers will continue earn a full minimum wage in the work place. Minnesota remains one of 7 states that does not pay a sub-minimum wage.
Nearly 360,000 workers (23%) of the Minnesota workforce will see their wages rise starting in August of this year!