For the past 20 years, the minimum wage for tipped employees has remained at $2.13 per hour.
Congresswoman Donna Edwards of Maryland hopes to change that. She recently introduced a bill (H.R. 631) that would increase the minimum wage for employees who live off tips to $3.75 an hour, eventually reaching $5.50 an hour. The bill is currently under review by the House Committee on Education.
A recent report, “Behind the Kitchen Door: Inequality & Opportunity in Washington, D.C.’s Thriving Restaurant Industry,” revealed that restaurant workers made, on average, $22,218 in 2009. In addition, nearly 90 percent of the workers reported that their employers did not offer health insurance.