The federal tipped minimum wage has been $2.13/hour since 1991. That’s right – it’s been the same for nearly a quarter century. In that time, Congress has twice approved increases in the full minimum wage, and the costs for the basics like food, housing, transportation and child care have all increased significantly.
That’s a real challenge for our nation’s nearly 2 million waiters and waitresses. In most states, food servers earn low wages, primarily made up of the tips they make. Employers only have to pay tipped workers a lower, so-called “tipped minimum wage” that − when added to tips left by customers − must equal at least the full minimum wage.
Here’s a look at who makes up the nation’s ranks of food servers:
Because the federal tipped minimum wage has lost about 40% of its value since 1991, food servers, most of whom are adults, are having to work harder and harder to scape by. They are three times more likely than other workers to experience poverty, and nearly half of them are forced to rely on public assistance.
A recent poll found that 71 percent of Americans support increasing the tipped minimum wage. And, if President Obama’s proposal to raise the minimum wage is enacted, about half of all workers in predominantly tipped occupations would see their earnings increase.
Share this video if you agree: it’s time to #RaiseTheWage.