Raise the Standard Service Industry Minimum Wage sign now

Raise the Standard Service Industry Minimum Wage from $2.13 p/Hr to $6.55 p/Hr According to the Department of Labor's Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

To: Congressional Members of Tennessee,

We, the undersigned, are hereby declaring to receive equal pay for equal services rendered. Per the Department of Labor's Fact Sheet #15: Tipped Employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) states that, "...if an employee's tips combined with the employer's direct wages of at least $2.13 an hour do not equal the hourly minimum wages of $6.55 per hour effective July, 24, 2008, and $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009; the employer must make up the difference." In addition, there are presently seven states that guarantee minimum wage and tips to their employees. According to the California Labor & Employment law: " Alaska, California, Minnesota, Nevada, Oregon, Montana and Washington are not required to account for tip crediting which is, under federal law, employers are allowed to pay a lower hourly wage... so long as the employer's total wages (the lower minimum wage paid by the employer and tips received) equal at least the standard federal minimum wage, currently, as of July 24, 2008, $6.55 per hour."
With the current economic situations: inflation, high energy cost, bank/mortgage foreclosures and the like, servers are unable to consistently adapt to the socio-economic plights of our nation making less than minimum wage. And because a fifteen percent tipping allowance paid to the server is not mandatory nor enforced, which includes automatic gratuity for large parties, patrons therefore are not obligated to tip. Also, patrons traveling abroad unware of the standards of American restaurant etiquette; in many instances, leaving the dine-in setting after having paid for their meal with the assumption a tip is understood (included) or optional.
Federal mimimum wage approved by the Department of Labor has risen considerably over the last few years and will peak at $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009. With that said, employees in the service industry have been making $2.13 per hour since the late 1970s. We have not seen a pay increase in almost 40 years! Serving is not a job where you are always "paid" based upon your skill-level, merit or experience. Customers tip what they want and sometimes less than the customary fifteen percent.
By extending the Depart of Labor's federal minimum wage of $6.55 per hour to servers, it will ease the financial burdens of all employees who rely on their main income solely on tips received; especially those servers who work the "graveyard" shifts (11pm-6am) at many 24-Hr restaurants only being paid $2.13 an hour where very few patrons, if any, frequent their respective places of employment. These servers, along with others, are still required at the end-of-shift to restock, prep/prepare foods and janitor their places of business making an estimated $10.65, collectively, before taxes, for a five hour shift in that day's earnings if only relying upon their hourly wages, In addition to the tips received by the servers, a subsequent paycheck would guarantee a set amount of earningss for each serving employee during these financially stressful times. For those servers who do not have adequate health coverage, are single parents or for those wishing to continue their education, reaping the gains of a minimum wage will compensate for the long hours worked, over-time denied and less than fifteen percent tips received.
We are petitioning, based upon the aforementioned, to be compensated according to the minimum wage allowance passed by the Department of Labor effective July, 24, 2008, that we, members of the service industry, also receive $6.55 per hour.

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Alicia NixonBy:
School and EducationIn:
Petition target:
Congressional Members of Tennessee

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