Vote NO on Initiative 82
The David for Ward 3 campaign asks you to vote NO on Initiative 82 on November 8. Here’s why:
The vast majority of DC’s tipped employees don’t want it. Please ask them the next time you dine out or go to a bar in DC. Every conversation with tipped workers in Ward 3 has verified this fact for me.
Businesses with tipped employees are already legally obligated to make up the difference if the base pay plus tips does not add up to $16.05 per hour. Here’s how it works. The business pays a tipped employee a base of 1/3 minimum wage, $5.35 per hour. If the employee does not make at least $16.05 per hour for her or his shift, then the business must make up the difference.
Doing away with the tipped minimum wage (the objective of Initiative 82) will force businesses to add a service charge to your bill instead of giving you the option of tipping what you feel appropriate. This is what happened in California and other jurisdictions. Additionally, the service charge will be taxed by DC, where as a gratuity is not taxed at the point of sale. Thus, DC government increases its share of the transaction. Isn’t that convenient?
Even more tipped workers will likely leave DC for better paying positions in Northern Virginia. Initiative 82 passage will hasten their departure, making our service employee labor shortage even worse. This dynamic will further drive-up costs for the businesses and prices for us. If customers are charged an average of $11.00 for a beer in DC but only $8.00 in Arlington, they are going to go out in DC less and in Arlington more. Over time many DC establishments will choose to not renew their leases. They will go out of business when their lease(s) expire. We will see many more dark or boarded-up storefronts.
Presently back-of-the-house employees can be paid well because front-of-the-house employees are tipped. If front-of-the-house tipped employees are forced to receive all their compensation from the businesses there will be less pay for the back-of-the-house, setting up an unwanted contentious condition between the front of the house and the back.
Initiative 82 joins numerous other well-intended ideas in DC that will do more harm than good. Vote No on it.
For more detail on Initiative 82 please see these three links (Neutral, Pro, and Con):
DC Committee to Build a Better Restaurant Industry – (betterrestaurantsdc.org) According to this website my opponent for DC Council in Ward 3 supports Initiative 82.