The “Fight for 15” was a nationwide push to raise minimum wages to $15 an hour. It was largely successful, states and cities across the country are raising their minimum wage. But there is one group is that largely being omitted, tipped or “service” workers. This post will go over how they were left behind by the “Fight for 15.”
Tipped employees, in the vast majority of states, are subject to an alternate pay structure. There is the traditional “minimum wage” which applies to most employees. And there is the “tipped” wage which is usually several dollars cheaper. The tipped wage applies to waiters, bartenders, and other jobs that traditionally receive tips. It was believed that the tips make up the difference to ensure that the minimum wage is met.
Under the federal rules, tipped employees must be paid at least $2.13 an hour. Since the raise in the minimum wage, that means the gap between tipped and minimum wage workers has risen dramatically. The gap is close to $5 is nearly 25 states.
Do you believe that your employer is violating your right to a fair wage? If so, you may want to contact an attorney ? you could have a valid claim for unpaid benefits. If your employer is skimming off your checks, then you are entitled to compensation (and your co-workers are too) for the amount of money that your employer stole from you. How much you may receive depends on how much was stolen, for how long, and what your wage should have been. A lawyer can go over the details with you, to determine how best to approach your boss.
Source: FiveThirtyEight, “The Minimum Wage Movement Is Leaving Tipped Workers Behind,” Kathryn Casteel, February 7, 2017