Equal Pay for Equal Work: No Tip Penalty!

In the past week, advertisements have popped up on social media from a group called Pathway to $15 advocating for a “tip penalty” in any future minimum wage ordinance. Don’t be fooled by the name-- Pathway to $15 is a Big Business front group funded by the Minnesota Restaurant Association, and the tip penalty is part of their corporate anti-worker agenda.

The Minnesota Restaurant Association is no friend to workers, especially women workers. They campaigned against paid sick time, paid parental leave, and regularly unite with Republicans at the state level to fight for local “preemption” and against any proposal to raise the minimum wage.

The fact that the Minnesota Restaurant Association accepts $15/hr in the name “Pathway to $15” is a testament to the movement we’ve built, but their push for a “tip penalty” is the next way they’re trying undercut our movement. They use a lot of misleading corporate double-speak, but at the end of the day it means they want to pay tipped workers a lower rate than the minimum wage, forcing them to rely on tips for the rest of their income.

The service industry is the fastest growing sector of the economy, and a 70% female workforce. That means the Minnesota Restaurant Association wants a lower minimum wage for the largest female-dominated sector of the economy. What ever happened to “Equal Pay for Equal Work”?!

It might seem like common sense that a minimum wage would apply to all workers, but we can’t underestimate the power of ultra-rich corporate groups like the Minnesota Restaurant Association. We’re reaching out to tipped workers every day, but we need your help. Can you pitch in $44 right now to help us stop the tip penalty?

That sounds like a lot, but $44 is the minimum amount more a tipped worker will take home after each an eight hour shift if we’re successful at stopping the tip penalty. If it’s too much, can you pitch in $15 to help us win?

Minnesota is currently one of only 7 states in the country to have one fair minimum wage. It would be a step backward-- a step away from gender pay equity-- to instate a tip penalty in Minneapolis.

Tip penalties are unfair by design, but their effects are especially harmful to women workers. Tipped workers in states with tip penalties experience two times the sexual harassment as workers in states with one fair minimum wage. In the Trump era, we can’t afford a tip penalty policy that objectifies and endangers women workers. Former 15 Now Executive Director Ginger Jentzen expands on the negative effects of tip penalties in her Community Voices op-ed. Like and share it on Facebook and Twitter to help spread the word about tip penalty and Pathway to $15.

It’s going to take serious organizing to stop well-funded groups like the Minnesota Restaurant Association. They’ve got corporate cash, but we have numbers: 68% of Minneapolis residents support a strong $15/hr with no tip-penalty. If everybody chips in what they can, we can beat tip penalty together!