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Winning Justice for Working Women

Action Alert: Could you survive on $2.13?

Could you survive on $2.13?

You can take action on this alert by reading the information below and following the directions at the bottom.


Tipped Workers Minimum Wage


The federal tipped minimum wage continues to be atrociously low at $2.13/hr. For twenty years now, tipped workers in the restaurant industry and elsewhere have toiled for a miserable wage, in part due to the fact that restaurant workers have not had a voice. As a result, waiters and waitresses have three times the poverty rate of the rest of the United States workforce. More than half of all restaurant workers live below the federal poverty level for a family of three.

In Spring 2011, Rep. Donna Edwards (MD) introduced the WAGES Act, the first bill ever introduced into Congress focused on tipped workers. This bill would significantly close the wage gap that currently exists between tipped employees and other workers. The WAGES Act would do this in 3 steps:

1. It would raise the minimum wage of tipped employees from the current level of $2.13 per hour to $3.75 per hour 90 days after enactment.

2. It would then raise the minimum wage of tipped employees to $5.00 per hour one year after enactment.

3. Finally, two years after enactment, the tipped minimum wage would be restored to 70% of minimum wage, but no less than $5.50 per hour.

Message To Be Sent To
Your message will be sent to each of the following targets:

Your U.S. Representative
A sample message appears below, which you may edit before sending.

Raise the Minimum Wage for Tipped Workers

Dear Member of Congress,

As your constituent and a member of 9to5, National Association of Working Women, I urge you to support the Working for Adequate Gains for Employment in Services (WAGES) Act , H.R. 631. It's unconscionable that tipped workers are only earning $2.13/hr. That's not enough to live on.

This bill will restore the value of the tipped worker minimum wage from the current $2.13/hr. to no less than $5.50/hr over several yearly increases.

Workers should not have to rely on the whim or generosity of customer tips that fluctuate widely depending on the day, week, season and economic condition. Tipped workers need to earn a decent, steady income paid by the employer.

It is time to make sure all employees are paid fair wages for their hard work. Tipped workers have been left behind because their wages have stagnated for 20 years, while the minimum wage for all other workers has risen.

I urge you to co-sponsor the WAGES Act and to work actively for its passage. I would appreciate knowing your position on this important piece of legislation.

Your name and address here

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