In June, D.C. voters overwhelmingly passed Initiative 77, which gradually raises D.C.’s tipped minimum wage over eight years until it is equal to the regular minimum wage in 2026. Opponents of the measure claim that eliminating the tipped minimum wage would lead to layoffs, closures, and restaurant workers receiving less pay due to a decrease in patron tipping. In a new EPI Policy Center report, David Cooper finds that the evidence suggests otherwise: In Seattle and San Francisco—two cities that have high minimum wages and no subminimum wage for tipped workers—Cooper finds that tipped workers take home more pay than their counterparts in D.C. and that restaurants big and small continue to thrive in those cities. DC City Council will hold a hearing on repealing One Fair Wage (Initiative 77, endorsed by the Metro Washington Council AFL-CIO in May 2018) today beginning at 11a; 250 have already signed up to testify. Read the EPI report here and hear Cooper on Your Rights At Work.
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