The State Senate has started work on a bill that would allow employers to ask servers to contribute 15 percent of their tips to be redistributed to other service employees of an establishment.
The goal is to improve service from top to bottom and raise wages for all employees.
But Laramie Democrat Chris Rothfuss has concerns about the practice, saying that it allows employers to ask a server to pay for other employees, especially if those employees wouldn’t be making minimum wage without the redistribution.
Devils Tower Republican Ogden Driskill argued that the bigger restaurants are the most likely to use the practice and they will pay more than establishments that don’t do this.
“Let’s see which one of them brings in the best waitresses, the best waiters, and the best maître d’s in town. And I’ll make you a wager that it’s the guy that has the best tip sharing program, because it’s the one that has the best paid staff, not one at the top.”
Driskill added that the program is completely voluntary and would encourage all employees from bartenders to hostesses to improve their service.
The bill will be debated two more times.