General Assembly Vote Tracker

HB251 and HB252 – Minimum Wage for Tip Employees

Late last session, State Representative Kim Williams introduced two bills that seek to improve and update minimum wage law in Delaware, much of which has not been updated since 1983.

Back then, tipped wage workers were paid a percentage – 66.67% – of the minimum wage, which was $3.35 an hour, so that tipped workers would receive $2.23 per hour. In 1989, the General Assembly changed the hourly wage for a tipped worker to a flat $2.23 per hour, where it has outrageously remained ever since, to the everlasting shame of every single elected Senator and Representative and Governor in office during the last 31 years. Had the calculation been left unchanged back in 1989, the tipped wage would have increased along with the minimum wage.

House Bill 252 ensures that employees who receive tips or gratuities also receive a minimum wage increase when other employees in the State receive a minimum wage increase. Specifically, the bill says that tipped workers would receive no less than 65% of the whatever the current minimum wage is. Right now, the current minimum wage is increasing in steps over the next few years. As of October of 2019, the minimum wage is still criminally low at $9.25 an hour. 65% of that is $6.01 an hour. Again, still criminally low. But it is at least a significant increase over $2.23 an hour.

Another bill, House Bill 251, would clarify that the definition of employees who receive gratuities also includes employees that receive tips, that these employees must earn at least 50% of their income from tips or gratuities, and that the tips must come directly from customers not from tip pools or other similar intervening mechanism. It also clarifies that tips automatically added to a bill or added to credit card charges are to be treated like tips or gratuity and must be paid by the employer directly to the employee at the next pay period as opposed to being held by the employer waiting to receive payment from the credit card company and that the employer may not deduct service fees from the employees tips or gratuities.

Lastly, this bill requires employers to give advance notice to its employees that receive tips or gratuities of: (1) the amount of the direct wage being paid to the employee; (2) the amount of tips or gratuities to be credited toward the minimum wage; (3) that all tips or gratuities must be retained by the employee, except for tip pools; (4) the tip or gratuity credit may not apply to any employee that did not receive the notice; (5) that the tip pool contribution will not be used to offset the employer’s statutory obligations to pay the minimum wage to other employees; and (6) that the employer must keep accurate records of all tips or gratuities received. If an employer does not provide this notice, the employer will be liable for a civil fine.

Both bills remain in committee in the House, and lord knows when the Chamber of Commerce will give their permission to Delaware lawmakers to stop treating tipped workers like indentured servants. And considering that many tipped workers are either deemed essential workers now in food delivery, or are out of jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the passage of these bills is of paramount importance.


WHERE IS HB252 NOW? House Economic Development/Banking/Insurance & Commerce 6/27/19

DEMOCRATIC SPONSORS – K. Williams, Walsh, Sokola, Baumbach, Kowalko, Matthews, Osienski

REPUBLICAN SPONSORS –

  • YES – |
  • NO – |
  • ABSENT – |
  • NOT VOTING – |


WHERE IS HB251 NOW? House Economic Development/Banking/Insurance & Commerce 6/27/19

DEMOCRATIC SPONSORS – K. Williams, Walsh, Paradee, Sokola, Lockman, Heffernan, Baumbach, Kowalko, Matthews,  Osienski, Viola

REPUBLICAN SPONSORS –

  • YES – |
  • NO – |
  • ABSENT – |
  • NOT VOTING – |

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

0 comments on “HB251 and HB252 – Minimum Wage for Tip Employees

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: