Women’s Rights in the Workplace A weekly conversation about workplace discrimination and the state of labor and employment law with Women’s Rights in the Workplace lawyer Jack Tuckner and his guests.

October 28, 2014  

Tipped workers occupy a vulnerable position in our nation’s employment scene, as federal law allows for pay discrimination between tipped and non-tipped workers, permitting employers to pay tipped workers a sub-minimum wage of $2.13 per hour (that’s not a typo). As a result, tipped restaurant workers are expected to collect the remainder of their wages from customers’ tips, creating an environment in which a majority female workforce must please and curry favor with customers to earn a living. Depending on customers’ tips for wages discourages women who might otherwise stand up for their rights and report unwanted sexual behaviors.

Join Jack Tuckner and Deborah O'Rell as they discuss the plight of tipped workers in the notoriously sexist restaurant industry. Earlier this month, Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROCUnited.org), released a report, The Glass Floor, Sexual Harassment in the Restaurant Industry, based on extensive interviews with 700 former and current restaurant workers in New York and other major cities which concluded that more than 90 percent of female restaurant workers experienced sexual harassment, with more than half reporting incidents on a weekly basis. Although the restaurant industry employs only 7 % of American women, the sector is responsible for 37 % of sexual harassment claims filed with the E.E.O.C., and the tipped women workers in states requiring only the $2.13 per hour reported that they were three times more likely to be told by management to wear “sexier” more revealing clothing than they were in states where the same minimum wage was paid to all workers. Conversely, tipped women workers in states that have eliminated the sub-minimum wage were less likely to experience sexual harassment. Learn what to do about sexual harassment on the job when it happens to you.

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