There’s nothing modest about a 232 percent increase in the tipped minimum wage, and the consequences for employees would be severe. That’s the message of a new ad in the Washington Post, which warns policymakers: Don’t Erase My Job — Or My Tips.
The ad emphasizes a message we’ve used before: Tipped employees already report earning over $13 an hour, and they’ve received a bump in pay almost every year over the last two decades. The ad also references economic research published in the Southern Economic Journal, which finds that employment falls in the full service restaurant industry after the tipped wage rises.
But it’s not just jobs that disappear: Tip income could disappear as well.
As labor costs have increased, some restaurants have opted to eliminate tipping in favor of higher prices and a fixed hourly wage, removing employees’ ability to earn hourly wages as high as $24/hour or more.
In a recent Google Consumer Survey, EPI asked roughly 10,000 people the following question: “If you work in a restaurant & earn tips, would you support a $15 minimum wage if it meant you could no longer receive those tips?” Of those who reported that they did work in a restaurant and earn tips, nearly 70 percent opted for the current tipping system instead of a $15 base wage that put their tips at risk.
Lost jobs, and less income—that’s the cost of a 232 percent tipped wage hike.