The answer: a $15 minimum.
The answer: the federal minimum wage law, known as the Fair Labor Standards Act, prohibits employers from requiring workers to pay more than the federal rate of $7.25 an hour.
Federal law requires that tipped employees, or those who receive tips, must be paid the same minimum wage as the rest of their work, regardless of whether they are compensated by tips or tips alone.
The new law requires restaurants to follow the same policy, though it is unclear whether restaurants can opt to follow it by paying a minimum wage to all workers or only to tipped employees.
Tipped employees have been paid at least the federal amount for years, but it’s unclear whether the minimum wage would apply to them.
The Fair Labor Standard Act also bars employers from denying tipped employees the right to a meal based on race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability, and the federal government requires employers to pay tipped workers a minimum of $2.13 an hour, or the equivalent of a $2 wage.
At Starbuck Steakhouse in Washington, a majority of the restaurant’s servers, bartenders and waitresses are tipped employees with the exception of some managers and employees at the restaurant, according to the restaurant.
A Starbuck spokesman said the restaurant is not paying a $20 minimum wage, and that the restaurant plans to make its restaurant employees pay the $15 hourly wage.
In other words, if a Starbuck employee gets a tip for $15, they will have to take that $15 and pay it, the spokesman said.
Starbuck has no plans to pay its employees $20 or less, he said.
A tip is usually given to employees on a voluntary basis, the restaurant spokesman said, but restaurants are encouraged to offer tips to their employees on the job.
The company has about 6,000 workers, and about 25 percent are tipped, according a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Labor.
Starbuck, a chain of chain restaurants, is owned by Darden Restaurants, which also owns Olive Garden, Red Lobster and Chipotle.
The restaurant chain is the second-largest U.K. restaurant group, behind Waitrose, with nearly 500 restaurants.
Starbuck said in a statement that it has a commitment to working with its workers to ensure they are paid a fair and equitable wage.