April 1 marks 25 years since tipped workers last got a raise. The 4.3 million American workers who receive tips – mostly servers and bartenders – are excluded from federal minimum wage of $7.25, and instead earn as little as $2.13 an hour. This so-called tipped minimum wage has been frozen at $2.13 since 1991.
Trying to live on the minimum wage is a nearly impossible order, but imagine trying to do so when your pay falls short of the regular minimum wage, even once tips are included. That’s the unfortunate reality facing many tipped workers, because although employers are legally required to make up the difference, experts believe this rarely happens.
The above excerpt was originally published in U.S. News & World Report.
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