Push in Illinois to raise minimum wage for tipped workers

There is likely to be a new push in Illinois and in the city of Chicago to raise the minimum wage for tipped workers.

It's part of a national campaign aimed at raising the earnings of restaurant workers. 

One member of the Chicago City Council says that high-end restaurant workers in his community fear this could end up cutting their annual earnings.

"There's many servers that I've talked to who work at restaurants in my ward that do not think this proposal will help them. In fact, it could potentially harm them because people will stop tipping, and they don't want that," said Chicago Ald. Brian Hopkins.  


Hopkins wants the City Council to slow down its deliberations, saying they need to find a way to craft any new wage legislation so that it applies to workers making relatively little in tips, while somehow exempting those at high-end restaurants whose earnings can be well in excess of $100,000 a year. 

State Rep. Camille Lilly claims there has been a positive experience in seven states that raised restaurant minimum wages.

"Other states, at least seven, have went down this path. Their business growth has improved, so that's a signal, and then those hundreds of restaurants in Illinois who pay their workers at a high wage, minimum wage, they have had success as well," said Lilly. 

It is unclear what the timetable may be in Illinois and Chicago for trying to raise the minimum wage, but it seems there will likely be a push in the fall.