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Should I Keep Tipping In Montana?

Young woman handing waiter credit card, close-up
Photo by Rayes

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I’ve never had a problem with tipping waiters and waitresses (is waitresses politically correct?). The reason being that usually, under law, it was allowable to pay wait staff less than minimum wage.

For example if the minimum wage is $8.00 per hour the wait staff pay could legally be paid $4.00 an hour because the tips received would usually work out to more than the 8.00 per hour minimum.

So I really didn’t have a problem subsidizing someone who might be working their way through school or working a second job.

Montana Raised The Minimum Wage

When Montana raised its minimum wage to $8.05 they also abolished the tip credit. Previously the tip credit allowed the employer to pay a waitperson $2.13 per hour and they were allowed a tip credit of $5.12 to equal the Federal Minimum Wage of $7.25 per hour.

Currently the person waiting on your table can’t make less than $8.05 per hour. So $7.00 in tips per hour, which is very possible in some restaurants, would put the employee over $15 per hour or more.

Should I Keep Tipping?

I had no problem helping a waitperson get to at least minimum wage and I realize that waiting tables in normally not an 8-hour job other than some bartenders.

But now I’m beginning to wonder why I am tipping people who are making the same salary as those I don’t tip?

Some Final Thoughts

I know I’m sounding a little nit picky and petty but I wonder how many people don’t know about the tip credit?

Some wait staff in Seattle complained that tips were down when parts of Seattle went to $15 per hour.

It’s one of those unintended consequences we experience when we change laws without thinking of what other areas of life that might effect.

I haven’t stopped tipping and don’t intend to but I wonder how many people would. Especially those working for $8.05 per hour?

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