Efforts are underway in the state of New York as well as in the District of Columbia to eliminate the so-called tipped wage within the restaurant industry. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo put a target on the tipped wage in his December state of the state address when he advocated phasing it out to bring all employees, tipped or not, up to the new state minimum of $15 per hour. Following that recommendation, the state labor department will hold 5th of 7 scheduled hearings on the issue today in Albany at the legislative office building beginning at 10 AM. In large measure, the ultimate recommendation is a foregone conclusion as New York law allows the governor to bypass the legislature and create industry-specific wage mandates. He did it a few years ago with the fast food minimum wage hike and now is replicating it with elimination of the tipped wage. It’s a different process in the District of Columbia as (ironically) the New York-based Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC) is pushing a ballot question, Initiative 77, which if approved, would eliminate the tipped wage within the Nation’s Capital. Notwithstanding ROC’s efforts, the Mayor as well as 7 of the 13 city councilors have come out in opposition to the ballot question – arguing that if implemented, it would lead to lesser income and fewer hours for waiters and waitresses throughout the District.