Initiative 77, a measure to apply the national minimum wage to waiters would adversely affect them, argues Philip H. Devoe of National Review. To being with, they currently make more of than minimum wage. A tipped-minimum-wage is much lower, as it takes tips into account. But tips add up. In Puerto Rico, servers earn $8.57 per hour on average. That rises to $21.77 in Hawaii. Initiative 77 would lower servers’ pay. A Harvard study found that a restaurant’s chance of closing would rise by 14% for every dollar it increased its tipped minimum wage. There is a strong likelihood that higher food prices scare away customers.
The existence of tipping gives employers and customers power over servers that often goes too far, reports Rebecca McCarthy of The Outline. Particularly women, which make up two thirds of tipped workers in New York, risk bad treatment. 90% of women in the service industry report being sexually harassed. The forced friendliness required to earn essential tips can be awfully straining and dignity-robbing for workers. Many restaurants don’t enforce the rule that they must make up whatever servers don’t make in tips, to reach minimum wage. Giving workers a solid minimum wage would benefit them and protect them from potential abuse.