Food service workers have had a history of poor pay. This can be attributed to the fact that food service employees do not adhere to minimum wages. They often give the excuse that food service workers are tipped by the customers thus paying their employees very little. In some cases, the tips that they make are even retrieved by the employees and in other cases, they are forced to share the wages with the cooking staff (Epstein, & Heizler, 2008). This just a few of the injustices that tipped workers go through on an everyday basis. What most employees do not take into consideration, is that the tipped workers also have families to feed.
The government has worked very hard to improve the working situation of tipped workers to make them equal to other paid workers. Employees should recognize that it is their federal obligation to pay workers minimum wage. With the legislation put in place, minimum wage as it is very little. Currently, minimum wage is at a little over $2 in direct wages (Pacheco, 2009). In some states, improvements have occurred and some tipped workers can take home a minimum of $26 in their remunerations (Pacheco, 2009). This to most employees in itself may not be enough but still employees do nothing about it.
Since most tipped workers are students trying to make a living, the government has stepped in to try to make this neglected yet hard working group well taken care of. Legislation put in place now requires employers to pay full time college students 85% of the minimum wage and they are only required to work for a maximum of 8 hours a day when in cession and a maximum of 40 hours a week when on holiday (Pacheco, 2009). Students in high school are also required to receive a minimum of 75% of minimum wage in direct payment (Epstein, & Heizler, 2008). These conditions indicate that it is very important for tipped workers to receive minimum wage since that way students can work and take care of themselves without this activity affecting their education.
It is also very important that tipped workers are paid minimum wage since research has shown that 71% of all citizens have at one point engaged in the food service industry (DeSue, 2012). Most of them have had very poor pay and that affected them in the future, a solution was them reached to ensure that all tipped workers receive a minimum wage in order to improve their livelihoods in the future in a very significant way in the future.
Others have argued that compulsory minimum wage for employees will affect the employers in their returns. However, research has found this to be false since employees could counteract this by reducing the pay of other workers. This would not be necessary in some cases since the fact that most employees would be very elated and motivated at the event that they would receive minimum wage and would work hard and this in return would improve the total earnings of the business (Epstein, & Heizler, 2008).. These extra profits would in part pay for the extra payments required and the rest are translated into profits.
In some businesses, customers give tips of 15% of the total price of their purchase (Epstein, & Heizler, 2008). This is the money that the tipped employees are expected to take home. In such institutions, the employees do not offer direct wages and this may be a good thing at times but very bad in when business is not good. As expected, there are times when business will do well at times and very bad at times. In addition, when a customer receives substandard service he will in most cases tip the server lower than expected. This results to fluctuating wages for employees, which can be very challenging especially in this economy. Minimum wage requires that if employers have adapted such a system, they should ensure that in the event that the worker makes less than the minimum wage, it is their responsibility to supplement the tips till they reach the minimum wage required standards (Epstein, & Heizler, 2008).. This shows that tipped employees indeed need the minimum wage since despite the tips they may not make enough money and it becomes unfair for them.
Finally, research has shown that minimum wage may stimulate the growth of the economy. With the minimum wage requirement, the money that is put into the hands of those that need it and are more likely to spend them on necessity (DeSue, 2012). This in turn helps with the growth of the economy. Research has refuted the allegations that mandatory minimum wage may affect the economy negatively showing that states that have this legislation like California and Texas. This therefore should not be an excuse for legislators or employees.
With these findings, it is very clear that tipped employees need the minimum wage since it is not even a luxury but survival (DeSue, 2012). It is very unfair for the food service workers to receive poor payment that is even against the human rights. It is then the duty of the leaders and legislators to ensure that the rights of the citizens are protected and the employers do not take advantage of this vulnerable group. It is very unfair for them not to enjoy minimum wage since if they do not have a law to protect them, they cannot be protected against all kinds of harassment at their places of work. It is therefore a challenge for all the states to implement these laws to protect this group of people since most of them went through the food service employee to get to where they are today.
DeSue, Tendra. Does Minimum Wage Have To Be Paid To Workers Who Get Tips, 2012.
Epstein, Gil., & Heizler, Odelia. Illegal Migration, Enforcement, And Minimum Wage: Work, Earnings, And Other Aspects Of The Employment Relation, 2008.
Pacheco, Gail. Who Are Minimum and Sub-Minimum Wageworkers? International Journal of Manpower, 2009.