Monday, November 21, 2011

A Victory for Workers in Philadelphia

Last week Philadelphia’s City Council passed the Gratuity Protection Bill that makes the deduction of credit card fees from tips left by customers illegal. Councilman Kenney, a former restaurant worker, was the sponsor of this bill.

This bill will impact all workers that are paid in tips including those that work in restaurant, salons, and drive taxi cabs. It has been common practice for employers to take any credit card fees out of an employee’s tips. Tipped workers are generally low wage workers struggling to make ends meet. For example, the majority of restaurant workers have an average wage of only $14,000 per year and a minimum tipped wage of only $2.83 per hour. Every dollar makes a difference and getting to keep all the money they earn now will help they are not going hungry or unable to pay their bills.


Watch a video of one restaurant workers discussing why this bill is important.

Employers who violate the Gratuity-Protection Law will have to repay workers any portion of the tip that was taken and can be fined $2,000 plus court and attorneys fees. The legislation will potentially raise the wages for the estimated 26,000 tipped workers in the Philadelphia area.

Two Coalition partners helped ensure this victory – ROC – Philadelphia and the Taxi Workers Alliance for Pennsylvania. Congratulations to everyone who worked on this bill and we look forward to keeping the momentum going for bills to protect workers as we reintroduce paid sick days in the next year!

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