D.C. voters will decide in November if District tipped workers will receive a wage increase after the D.C. Court of Appeals approved the ballot initiative last week.
The initiative would allow tipped workers — who currently earn at least $5.05 per hour — to earn at least the $16.10 minimum wage in D.C. If the initiative passes, pay for tipped workers will gradually increase starting in January 2023 and will eventually match the $16.10 minimum wage by July 1, 2027.
The D.C. Board of Elections added the initiative to raise the tipped minimum wage to the November ballot in April, but last month restaurant trade groups attempted to block the initiative from making it onto the ballot by claiming it did not have enough signatures to be included. The D.C. Court of Appeals denied the attempts to block the vote, confirming the initiative’s appearance on the November ballot.
Students who support the initiative said increased pay will provide a steady paycheck that is not reliant on tips, which can vary between day shifts and night shifts.
In 2018, the D.C. Council overturned legislation ending tipped wage when it repealed Initiative 77, a proposal passed by just more than half of the District’s voters in June 2018.
In July, the minimum wage for D.C. workers increased from $15.20 per hour to $16.10 per hour for nontipped employees and $5.05 per hour to $5.35 per hour for tipped employees. GW student employees are paid at least the minimum wage for D.C.
This article appeared in the September 5, 2022 issue of the Hatchet.