For too long, the tipped minimum wage in D.C. has been an abysmal $2.77 an hour — just a few cents more than the federal tipped minimum wage which has been frozen at $2.13 an hour since 1991. As a result, tipped workers in D.C. — the majority of whom are people of color — live in poverty at nearly 1.5 the rate of the general workforce. In fact, the lowest paying jobs in D.C. — and across the country — are tipped jobs, meaning that the people who serve, prepare, and cook food for millions of restaurant goers often struggle to put food on their own tables.
That’s why together with the Working Families Party and other DC allies, we will organize a DC ballot initiative campaign to raise the wage to $15 an hour — for all workers.
It’s time for One Fair Wage because the lower, tipped minimum wage amounts to legislated pay inequity against women — who make up the majority of tipped workers in the U.S.
It’s time for One Fair Wage because the two-tiered wage system forces women to endure uncomfortable behavior as ‘just part of the job’ exacerbating an environment of sexual harassment and objectification, resulting in the restaurant industry being the single-largest source of sexual harassment charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
It’s time for One Fair Wage because all workers deserve to be treated with dignity and paid wages that will support their families.
Elected officials across the country are already debating historic One Fair Wage legislation, restaurant owners are steadily rolling out alternatives to the two-tiered wage system, and polls show that the public overwhelmingly supports paying all restaurant workers, including tipped workers, a full and fair minimum wage.
By winning a $15 minimum wage for all workers in the nation’s capital, we’ll be sending an important message to our elected officials — the two-tiered wage system is broken; it’s time for One Fair Wage.