DC Voters Pass Initiative 77, Eliminating Tipped Minimum Wage System

  • Contributed by BreAnna Bell

DC residents voted an overwhelming “yes” on initiative 77, eliminating the tipped minimum wage system in DC, possibly changing the restaurant landscape for many working in the district.

The ballot initiative takes out the tipped minimum wage system in eight small phases making the new minimum wage for servers $15 by 2025. By 2026, there will no longer be a tip credit in D.C., meaning all servers will be getting paid the same minimum wage from their employer.

Currently, the tip credit allows employers in D.C. to pay employees $3.33, way less than the current minimum wage $12.50. Customers supply workers with their wages through tips. If tips don’t supplement workers’ wages to at least minimum wage, their employer is required to make up the difference in their check. All but seven states in the U.S. have a tipped wage system in place.

The implementation schedule for phasing out the tipped minimum wage is as follows:

July 2018: $4.50
July 2019: $6
July 2020: $7.50
July 2021: $9
July 2022: $10.50
July 2023: $12
July 2024: $13.50
July 2025: $15

However, this isn’t the last say on initiative 77. Congress has a chance to interfere with the measure during its 30-day review period for D.C. legislation. City Paper reports both the House and the Senate would have to adopt what’s known as a concurrent resolution disapproving of the initiative to kill or amend it, and it’s unclear whether a sufficient number of members would support such a move.

WHUR Contributor

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