Tipping is an American custom. Because that’s a problem

Tipping is a quintessential American custom. In the US, consumers tip for services ranging from baggage handlers at the airport to housekeepers at hotels.

But according to some analysts, tips have created an environment in which restaurant servers are subject to sexual harassment and low wages. The pandemic has only exacerbated those problems.

About three-quarters of tipped workers in the restaurant industry are women and nearly half are people of color.

In a study conducted by One Fair Wage and the Food Labor Research Center at UC Berkeley, 83% of restaurant workers reported that their tips decreased during the Covid pandemic and more than 40% experienced a change in the frequency of sexual comments. unwanted customers.

With the pandemic leaving millions of people to do essential jobs for low pay, calls for a $ 15 minimum wage have been renewed and the removal of the so-called tipped minimum wage, the base wage for many restaurant workers.

Forty-three states, including Georgia, North Carolina and Texas, have a tipped minimum wage for workers, in some cases as low as $ 2.13 an hour.

Still, many in the restaurant industry are opposed to the proposed changes, saying they would lead to higher menu prices and fewer hours for workers. According to the National Restaurant Association, the pandemic has already wreaked havoc on the industry, wiping out 2.5 million restaurant jobs and more than 110,000 food and beverage outlets in 2020 alone.

Watch the video above to find out what the $ 15 minimum wage and the elimination of the tipped minimum wage would mean for restaurants and their employees.

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