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Today the front page of the New York Times features an article on how restaurants are instituting alternatives to the unfair, two-tiered wage system; something the corporate restaurant lobby has long said simply can’t be done. The reason for this momentum? The piece points out that restaurateurs cite ‘research on sexual harassment’ and racial discrimination as top reasons for experimenting with business models that would significantly decrease their employees’ dependence on tips.

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Patricia Cohen of the New York Times writes, “Restaurateurs tick off a long list of reasons for being drawn to the idea. In some cities like New York, where tipping is subject to a confusing welter of federal, state and local regulations and tax laws, eliminating it would simplify bookkeeping. Managers say it would also allow them to better calibrate wages to reward employees based on the length of their service and the complexity of their jobs.

Several also cited research showing that diners tend to tip black servers less and that the system can encourage sexual harassment of women.”

ROC United and Forward Together’s seminal report, “The Glass Floor: Sexual Harassment in the Restaurant Industry” demonstrates an undeniable link between the two-tiered wage system and a toxic culture of sexual harassment and discrimination with more 90% of women tipped restaurant workers experiencing sexual harassment on the job.

Today’s New York Times article shows that an amazing shift among restaurant employers is taking place — in opposition to what the National Restaurant Association has deemed impossible or unnecessary, a growing number of employers agree that the two-tiered wage system is deeply flawed and are experimenting with solutions that prioritize fair pay for their employees.

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