“My wage should not have to be a reflection on how good other people think I do … it could be discriminatory or they just don’t want to,” said Nour Qutyan, a bartender and server in Philadelphia.
Nearly three-quarters of tipped wage workers in the commonwealth are women, according to the Restaurant Opportunity Center of Pennsylvania, a restaurant worker advocacy group.
Employers are supposed to bring up wages to the overall minimum of $7.25 an hour if tips do not make up that gap, but workers said enforcement is lacking.
Jim Conway spent four decades in the restaurant industry, most recently spending a 16-year stint at Olive Garden. He retired during the pandemic, and said he has very little to show for his years of work because his wages were so low.
“I am on Social Security and having a tough time making ends meet,” he said.