WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — District voters said “yes” to the hotly-contested question of whether to raise the minimum wage for tipped workers — but not everyone is happy about it. Although more than 7 out of 10 voters supported the measure, the initiative received mixed reactions after Election Day.
Eliza Ragsdale, a former server, was largely unimpressed by the wage increase.
“I mean 16 dollars an hour doesn’t sound like a whole lot these days, does it?”Eliza Ragsdale, former server
D.C. voters approved Initiative 82 on Election Night with over 74 percent of voters supporting the measure according to the New York Times. The initiative received 107,713 votes with just over 90 percent of the wards reporting ballots.
“I think, overall, for the workers, it would be a really nice thing to not have to worry so much about how much they’re getting tipped and just know they have a secure wage,” Max P., a Georgetown University student said.
The minimum wage for tipped workers will incrementally increase from $5.05 per hour to $16.10 per hour by 2027. While this initiative will make wages equal for tipped and non-tipped workers, people DC News Now’s Katie Rhee spoke to today say they will still tip regardless of the minimum wage.
“I would tip off of service. Regardless, you’re gonna get a tip. There are a lot of things I wouldn’t do for 5 dollars. When you’re a tipped worker, there’s a lot of things you have to do like keep a smile on your face, and be happy, and keep good service for five dollars,” Richard Taylor, who had just picked up food from a restaurant on M Street in Georgetown, said.
“I think that a lot of servers are going to be upset about it knowing that they made a lot more money under the table,” Ragsdale explained. “I think that it will lead to greater pay equity between front-of-house and back-of-house workers.”
The first wage increase for tipped workers will kick in on the first day of 2023 when tipped workers will not make less than $6 an hour.