NWLC Cheers Victory for Tipped Workers with DC’s Passage of Initiative 77
(Washington, D.C.) Yesterday, DC residents voted decisively to bring One Fair Wage to the District by approving Initiative 77. This ballot measure will gradually raise the minimum wage that employers are required to pay their tipped employees in the District from $3.33 to $15 an hour by 2025. Beginning in 2026, the same minimum wage will apply to tipped and non-tipped workers alike. DC will join the states that have already adopted One Fair Wage, where people working for tips have higher wages and lower poverty rates compared to their peers in other states—and the restaurant industry still thrives.
The following is a statement by Emily Martin, General Counsel and Vice President for Education & Workplace Justice at the National Women’s Law Center:
“Yesterday’s election marks an important victory for working people. DC voters have resoundingly called for an end to the unjust two-tiered minimum wage system that has undermined economic security for the women and people of color who make up most of the tipped workforce in the District. Restaurant servers, bartenders, and all other tipped workers will finally know they have a paycheck they can depend on even when they have a slow week. It will also make workers less vulnerable to sexual harassment that is routinely part of the job when nearly your full income depends on customers’ whims. We call on the DC Council to respect the will of their constituents and commit to ensuring the successful implementation of Initiative 77.”