Steve Barnes: Who gets stiffed by Cuomo’s tipped wage proposal?

Claiming he’s intent on giving restaurant servers a raise, Gov. Andrew Cuomo would actually be cutting the pay of many and forcing restaurants to close. That’s the industry’s seemingly unanimous opinion of the governor’s proposal to require that tipped employees – more than 80 percent of whom work in restaurants as servers, as bartenders and in similar positions – be paid the state’s full minimum wage. Although Cuomo and labor advocacy groups characterize this as a win for workers’ rights and a way to ensure fair pay, I have talked to no one in the restaurant industry, in any position, who believes the proposed change would be anything but hugely damaging.