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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 the co-host of WUNC's "Due South." Leoneda has been a radio journalist for more than 30 years, spending most of her career at WUNC as the Race and Southern Culture reporter. Leoneda’s work includes stories of race, slavery, memory and monuments. She has won "Gracie" awards, an Alfred I. duPont Award and several awards from the Radio, Television, Digital News Association (RTDNA). In 2017, Leoneda was named "Journalist of Distinction" by the National Association of Black Journalists.
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