WATERBURY – Today, Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (CT-05), led the introduction of the Tipped Worker Protection Act, legislation to ensure tipped workers across Connecticut and the nation receive their full tips in addition to the federal minimum wage.

“When the pandemic began, 6 million restaurant workers lost their jobs and because so many were paid a subminimum wage they were ineligible for unemployment benefits. As we began to rebound from the pandemic, we saw just how important tipped workers were to the recovery of our economy and businesses.” said Congresswoman Jahana Hayes. “This legislation is yet another step in paying workers what they deserve.”

The Tipped Worker Protection Act will: 

  • Increase the tipped minimum wage beginning one year after its enactment, starting at $3.60 an hour and increasing by $1.50 per year until it matches the minimum wage, creating a transition period for tipped employees and their employers.
  • Ensure that all tips are retained by employees, whether they come directly from a customer, or via a service charge imposed by the employer. Employees will have the right to retain their tips, regardless of if they were received from the customer or distributed via a tip pool.
  • Empower employees in tip pools, prohibiting employers, managers and supervisors from participating in tip pools, and giving employees the power to establish and modify any system to pool tips in their workplace. Employers would be required to pay a full minimum wage to all employees before establishing a tip pooling system.
  • Increase transparency for service charges, by requiring employers to disclose to customers when any additional charge is added to the cost of a product or service. Employers would disclose the reason for this charge and the portion of the charge, if any, that will be paid directly to employees. Any portion of a service charge that is given to employees shall be treated as tips for purposes of Employer Credit for Social Security taxes.

"On behalf of 300,000 service worker members, 2,500 restaurant owner members, and 13 million restaurant workers nationwide, One Fair Wage applauds Rep. Jahana Hayes for her leadership in introducing the Tipped Worker Protection Act. This bill is both historic and timely,” said Saru Jayaraman, President of One Fair Wage. “A direct legacy of slavery, the subminimum wage for tipped workers is reaching a historic end, with millions of tipped workers post-pandemic refusing to work for poverty wages and thousands of restaurants having to raise wages to recruit staff. The Tipped Worker Protection Act would support both workers and responsible employers by bringing millions of tipped workers back to the restaurant industry."

“The National Women’s Law Center applauds Rep. Hayes for introducing the Tipped Worker Protection Act. Restaurant servers, bartenders, nail technicians, and other tipped workers are overwhelmingly women and disproportionately people of color—and are routinely subjected to low wages and poor working conditions. The Tipped Worker Protection Act will take critical steps to respect and protect this vital workforce, combating wage theft and requiring employers to pay tipped workers no less than the full minimum wage, before tips. This legislation is essential and overdue, and we urge Congress to pass it without delay,” said Emily Martin, Vice President for Education & Workplace Justice, National Women’s Law Center

“The National Employment Law Project enthusiastically supports the Tipped Worker Protection Act and commends Rep. Jahana Hayes for her leadership on this issue. Tipped workers face some of the highest rates of poverty, wage theft, and sexual harassment in the country, and the fact that they are paid subminimum wages in most of this country is at the root of all these issues. NELP stands with tipped workers everywhere who are fighting for One Fair Wage and fair and just working conditions,” said Rebecca Dixon, President and CEO of the National Employment Law Project.