Media Advisory for March 3, 2016
Contact: Tim Rusch, 917-399-0236,
Dallas Donnell, 215-870-7076, dallas@rocunited.or

Democratic Presidential front runner Hillary Clinton demands elimination of the tipped minimum wage
Statement from Saru Jayaraman, Co-Founder and Co-Director of 
Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United

New York, NY — We applaud Democratic presidential front runner Hillary Clinton for coming out strongly in support of the elimination of the tipped minimum wage, and urge New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature to follow her lead by abolishing the sub-minimum wage system in New York once and for all.

The tipped minimum wage is a destructive, archaic relic of the past that forces restaurant workers — largely women and people of color — to battle disproportionate rates of financial insecurity, poverty, discrimination, and sexual harassment. Nearly 70% of tipped restaurant workers are women, 40% of whom are mothers, working in casual dining establishments, and barely able to make ends meet. As Secretary Clinton explained before a capacity crowd at the Javits Center yesterday, “No one who works full time should have to still be living and raising their children in poverty.”

Governor Cuomo’s wage plan is a good start, but it is not enough. We implore New York policy makers to not leave behind New York’s 270,000+ tipped workers. It’s time to eliminate the unjust, two-tiered wage system, and establish one fair wage for all New Yorkers.


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.