- 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?
For general inquiries about One Fair Wage, contact firstname.lastname@example.org