An overwhelmingly massive majority of tip-earning nightlife and hospitality employees at D.C. bars, restaurants, and nightclubs strongly support the current tip-wage system. Tipped workers don’t want anyone trying to “fix” their jobs. Ask your bartender or server – they’ll tell you they make good wages and their jobs aren’t “broken” – and they’re tired of an outside anti-tipping group insulting them and our city’s robust, responsible, and recognized community hospitality.
That’s simply a fact.
Due to the huge and unified outpouring of local tipped workers urging elected city officials to preserve the tip-wage system, the D.C. Council and Mayor Muriel Bowser acted unanimously in 2016 to keep it in place. Tipped employees are now asking D.C. voters to support them, their jobs, their professional careers, and their good incomes.
Last year, after tipped worker incomes fell so far and fast following passage of a similar ballot initiative in Maine, thousands of tipped employees successfully persuaded the state legislature to restore the tip credit wage system on a broadly bipartisan basis.
Despite the arguments of those pushing the ballot initiative, this is not a #MeToo moment – or solution. Tipping is not the cause of sexual harassment or racial discrimination by customers, and shifting tipped workers to an hourly-wage income model won’t magically eliminate either. These are issues that all types of businesses confront, and the hospitality community has been exemplary in becoming a leader in working to ensure safe workplace environments for all staff.
A solitary national special-interest political group refuses to listen to the clear and consistent voice of a vast and overwhelming majority of tipped workers at D.C. bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and entertainment venues. This controversial and outsider political group wants you to ignore what tipped workers want. Don’t let them do it.
After all, it’s the professional livelihoods and good incomes of tipped workers that are at stake.