(Reuters) – Restaurant workers in seven U.S. cities on Tuesday lobbied state and native lawmakers to fight sexual harassment in the business by shifting from the $2.13 federal minimal wage for tipped workers to a better “fair” wage.
Some 70 % of workers who obtain suggestions in addition to their hourly pay in the United States are ladies.
The mixture of low hourly pay and dependence on buyer gratuities makes them notably susceptible to harassment from clients and colleagues, mentioned Saru Jayaraman, president of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC) which advocates for higher working situations.
Women workers incomes their state’s full minimal wage earlier than suggestions reported half the speed of sexual harassment as ladies in the states that pay $2.13 per hour, in accordance with a examine from ROC, which has referred to as on lawmakers to observe the lead of California, Washington, Nevada and 4 different states that pay the extra beneficiant “fair” wage.
“This is not about sex, this is about power,” mentioned Jayaraman. “When you shift the power balance … sexual harassment gets cut in half.”
Seventeen states, together with New Jersey and Texas, in addition to the District of Columbia pay tipped workers $2.13, a federal minimal wage that has not modified in greater than twenty years. New York, Florida and the remaining states pay someplace in between.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is among the many lawmakers already weighing a transfer to the upper “fair” wage.
ROC’s nationwide day of motion on Tuesday included rallies in Philadelphia, Seattle and Oakland, in addition to actions in Washington, D.C., Detroit, New Orleans and Oakland, California.
The restaurant business, which employs half of American ladies sooner or later in their lives, has a bonus over different industries relating to addressing sexual harassment as a result of it was already advocating for a transparent coverage resolution when the #MeToo social media motion against harassment gained momentum late final 12 months, mentioned Jayaraman.
Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles