Who We Are
One Fair Wage is a national coalition, campaign and organization seeking to lift millions of tipped and subminimum wage workers nationally out of poverty by requiring all employers to pay the full minimum wage with fair, non-discriminatory tips on top. The One Fair Wage campaign and coalition includes all workers for whom tips are considered wage replacement – including restaurant workers, nail salon technicians, car wash workers, tech platform delivery workers and drivers, hairdressers, massage therapists, and many more – as well as other subminimum wage workers, including disabled, incarcerated and teenage workers. One Fair Wage conducts policy advocacy, voter engagement, worker and employer organizing, and culture shift activities to ultimately lift millions of tipped workers out of poverty nationwide and engage them in the political process that governs their lives.
ONE FAIR WAGE is advancing policy, driving industry change, and shifting the narrative in order to ensure that all workers in America are paid at least the full minimum wage from their employers. The most powerful force driving subminimum wages in the United States is the National Restaurant Association (“The Other NRA”) which has lobbied for decades to keep the federal subminimum wage for tipped workers at a paltry $2.13 an hour. The Other NRA’s lobbying has resulted in tipped workers in 43 states receiving a subminimum wage — these workers include not only restaurant servers, bussers, hosts, bartenders, but also workers in nail salons, hair salons, car washes, airports, and parking lots. And now app-based companies like InstaCart, DoorDash, Uber and Lyft are also pushing for subminimum wages for their employees, arguing that their customer tips should count toward their workers’ payments. Subminimum wages are also paid to workers with disabilities, incarcerated workers, and teen workers in most states. One Fair Wage is calling for ‘No Worker Left Behind;’ that every person who works should be paid at least a full, fair minimum wage from their employer.
- Since they do not receive the minimum wage, tipped workers like servers, bussers, nail salon workers, car wash workers and others are forced to rely on tips as their wage. Their employer gives them as little as $2.13 an hour (the federal tipped minimum wage since 1991), and then takes out taxes. This leaves them with $0 paychecks, obviously insufficient to pay rent or put food on the table for their families.
- Although employers are legally required to “top off” the pay of a person who works for tips if the tips don’t add up to at least the minimum wage, enforcement is so lax and disorganized that wage theft has reached epidemic levels.
- The restaurant industry includes 7 of the 10 lowest paying jobs in the country. In fact, people who work in the industry are twice as likely to need food stamps than the rest of the US workforce, and three times as likely to live in poverty.
- Seventy percent of tipped workers are women. Since a living base wage is not guaranteed, and women are instead forced to depend on tips, they frequently have to put up with sexual harassment from customers, co-workers, and management. The EEOC has targeted the restaurant industry as the single largest source of sexual harassment charges filed by women with a rate FIVE TIMES higher than any other industry.
The two-tiered wage system is destructive. We can change it.
Do you have questions about our Emergency Fund for Tipped & Subminimum Wage Workers or other federal, state and local resources for workers in crisis?
ASK THEM HERE
For general inquiries about One Fair Wage, contact firstname.lastname@example.org