Re-opening reignites fight against tipped minimum wage

As restaurants and bars reopen, advocates are re-upping their efforts to end the tipped minimum wage, FairWarning reports. This is a battle that has been raging for years: In most states and municipalities, restaurants and bars are allowed to pay their workers sub-minimum wages (sometimes as low as $2.13 per hour). Technically, employers have to supplement their employees’ income if their wages plus tips fall below the state’s minimum, but in practice, that doesn’t always happen. A recent compliance check found 1,170 out of 9,000 restaurants violating the law. Now that Covid-19 has made restaurant workers vulnerable to infection on the job, the fight against the tipped minimum has taken on renewed urgency.