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New Report Looks at "Tipped" Workers

The non-profit North Carolina Justice Center is trying to bring attention to sub-minimum wage workers this Valentine’s Day. Most of these workers are in food service relying on tips.

Leoneda Inge:  The tipped minimum wage in North Carolina is two-dollars-13-cents an hour.  Some states have a higher wage, like California.  Employers can pay a sub-minimum wage as long as the wage plus tips equals seven-dollars 25-cents – the national minimum wage.  Sabine Schoenbach is a Policy Analyst for the Workers Rights Project at the North Carolina Justice Center.

Sabine Schoenbach:  It’s one of the only occupations where workers have the responsibility of making up more than two-thirds of their hourly pay through kind of the kindness of strangers.

Schoenbach says one-third of the waiters and waitresses in the state live at or below the poverty line.

Leoneda Inge is WUNC’s race and southern culture reporter, the first public radio journalist in the South to hold such a position. She also is co-host of the podcast Tested and host of the special podcast series, PAULI. Leoneda is the recipient of numerous awards from AP, RTDNA and NABJ. She’s been a reporting fellow in Berlin and Tokyo. You can follow her on Twitter @LeonedaInge.
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