Letter: Restaurant workers need fair wage

Published: 3/26/2021 1:34:01 PM

“Take your mask off so I can see how much to tip you,” said to a waitress during COVID, not only humiliating her, but making her risk her life (due to potential COVID exposure) if she were to oblige.

During COVID and before COVID, when servers earn a wage of just $2.13 an hour, they are forced to endure sexual harassment in order to please customers they rely upon for tips.

With the nature of the seasonal work in New England, imagine being a server in a family restaurant in the middle of winter and earning little to no tips. You can’t pay your rent on $2.13 an hour.

Now let’s take a server who lives in a state where business is generally good year round. They are able to pay their rent on time, and establish a strong credit score, despite fluctuating income. Yet when they go to buy a house, they are told their paystub doesn’t demonstrate reliable income and they are denied a mortgage.

Many restaurant servers are adults. For them, it is a profession. A majority are women. Many are raising children. They need, deserve, and are well overdue for Congress to pass one fair wage (with tips on top).

Melissa Bernardin



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