June 7, 2019 By Max Murray
The New York State Assembly and Senate passed legislation this week that will guarantee car wash workers receive minimum wage in New York City, Westchester, Nassau, and Suffolk counties.
The bill, sponsored by Jessica Ramos in the senate, will reduce car wash workers’ dependence on tips to earn a living wage.
Under current law, car wash workers are classified as tipped workers, with the minimum wage being between $10.20 and $12.75 an hour in New York City. The assumption is that their income will be supplemented by gratuities.
The bill, which passed the Senate Wednesday and Assembly Thursday, aims to make sure that car wash workers get the full minimum wage, which will increase to $15 an hour in the City by the end of the year.
Currently, even with tips, Ramos said car wash workers often earn less than the full minimum wage, with many required to work long and irregular hours to make a living. Some car wash owners don’t pass on all the tips anyway.
“Car wash workers across Queens have been underpaid for years, and rely on tips to make their living,” Ramos, who represents Senate District 13, said. “My bill will require that car wash workers are paid the minimum wage, which means they no longer have to rely on tips.”
Ramos said that there are between 200 and 300 car wash workers in her district– which covers areas such as Elmhurst, Corona and a section of Astoria– that will benefit should her bill become law.
The bill now awaits the signature of Governor Cuomo in order to become law.