For Immediate Release – March 27, 2016

Contact: Tim Rusch, 917-399-0236

Dallas Donnell 215-870-7076

California Legislators Adopt $15 Minimum Wage for All Workers; New York Urged to Follow Suit and Include Tipped Workers

Deal Reached this weekend in California could be model for New York State

ROC United applauds California legislators’ decision to move forward with raising the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour. Saru Jayaraman, Co-director and Co-founder of Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United comments, “The move to $15 in a state that long ago did away with the antiquated system of a sub-minimum wage for tipped workers will bring significant improvement in the lives of restaurant workers, who nationally experience poverty at twice the rate of the rest of the U.S. workforce. Lifting wages for all workers is a question of basic fairness. We urge New York State to follow California’s leadership and not leave behind tipped workers, the majority of whom are women.”

California’s restaurant industry is one of the nation’s fastest growing, exhibiting higher per capita restaurant sales, higher employment growth including in tipped occupations, and even higher tipping rates than the national average. This demonstrates that the restaurant industry can not only survive elimination of the separate, lower minimum wage for tipped workers, but truly thrive and even do better.

Through the One Fair Wage campaign, ROC United is currently spearheading local and state efforts including in New York state and Washington, D.C. to raise the regular minimum wage and phase out the two-tiered wage system, ensuring a fair minimum wage for all workers.


About Restaurant Opportunities Center United

Co-founded by leading workers’ rights advocate Saru Jayaraman (“One of the top 50 most influential people in the restaurant industry” – Nation’s Restaurant News), ROC United has nearly 18,000 worker-members in more than 30 cities in the U.S., winning 15 worker-led campaigns, recovering $8 million in stolen tips and wages.