Tipping is a typical American custom. In the US, consumers provide tips on services ranging from airport baggage handlers to housekeepers in hotels.

However, according to some analysts, tipping has created an environment where restaurant waiters are exposed to sexual harassment and low wages. The pandemic has only exacerbated these problems.

About three quarters of the workers in the catering industry are women and almost half are people of color.

In a study by One Fair Wage and the Food Labor Research Center at UC Berkeley, 83% of restaurant workers said their tips fell during the Covid pandemic and more than 40% saw a change in the frequency of unwanted sexual comments from customers .

As the pandemic leaves millions of people to do important work for low wages, calls for a minimum wage of USD 15 and the abolition of the so-called minimum wage with tips – the basic salary for many restaurant workers – have been raised again.

Forty-three states, including Georgia, North Carolina, and Texas, have minimum wages for workers, in some cases just $ 2.13 an hour.

Still, many in the restaurant industry are opposed to the proposed changes, saying they would result in higher menu prices and fewer man hours for workers. The pandemic has already taken a devastating toll on the industry, killing 2.5 million restaurant jobs and more than 110,000 eating and drinking establishments in 2020 alone, according to the National Restaurant Association.

Watch the video above to find out what the $ 15 minimum wage and abolition of the minimum wage would mean for restaurants and their employees.

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