Washington, D.C. – Today the Employment Policies Institute (EPI) has a new ad wrapped around the outside of The Washington Post targeted to policymakers currently considering an increase in the tipped minimum wage. The ad argues increasing the tipped wage by 232 percent will create severe consequences for employees by dramatically reducing employment in the restaurant industry.
The ad implores, “Hey Congress, don’t erase my job – or my tips” and features three facts that refute the misleading talking points being used by activists to promote raising the tipped wage. The ad emphasizes that tipped employees already report earning over $13 an hour and that they’ve received a bump in pay almost every year over the last two decades. The ad also references economic research published in the Southern Economic Journal, which finds that employment falls in the full service restaurant industry after the tipped wage rises.
In a recent Google Consumer Survey, EPI asked roughly 10,000 people the following question: “If you work in a restaurant & earn tips, would you support a $15 minimum wage if it meant you could no longer receive those tips?” Of those who reported working in a restaurant and earning tips, nearly 70 percent rejected a $15 base wage that put their tips at risk.
“There’s nothing modest about a 232 percent increase to the tipped minimum wage,” said Michael Saltsman, EPI’s research director. ”Contrary to activists’ talking points, the best research shows it will cost many employees their jobs.”