The non-profit North Carolina Justice Center is trying to bring attention to sub-minimum wage workers this Valentine’s Day. Most of these workers are in food service relying on tips.
Leoneda Inge: The tipped minimum wage in North Carolina is two-dollars-13-cents an hour. Some states have a higher wage, like California. Employers can pay a sub-minimum wage as long as the wage plus tips equals seven-dollars 25-cents – the national minimum wage. Sabine Schoenbach is a Policy Analyst for the Workers Rights Project at the North Carolina Justice Center.
Sabine Schoenbach: It’s one of the only occupations where workers have the responsibility of making up more than two-thirds of their hourly pay through kind of the kindness of strangers.
Schoenbach says one-third of the waiters and waitresses in the state live at or below the poverty line.