It sucks to be a waitress, report shows

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According to a new study, Tipped Over The Edge — Gender Inequity in the Restaurant Industry, not only do female restaurant employees face “systemic discrimination” they also get paid less, have fewer sick days and can expect to see five times more harassment than the general female workforce, notes Garth Johnson. Not helping things? The fact that “the federal minimum wage for servers and other tipped workers” has been frozen at $2.13 per hour for the past 20 years.

The report (you can read the whole PDF here) goes on to show that the frozen tipped minimum wage unfairly targets women (“Since 52% of all restaurant workers are women, but 66% of tipped workers are women, the lower minimum wage for tipped workers is essentially creating legalized gender inequity in the restaurant industry.”). By law servers who earn tips can be paid $2.13 an hour as long as their tips close the gap between minimum wage—but many restaurants ignore the second part of that.

The report also notes that by design, the restaurant industry pushes women into lower-paid positions (waitresses, hostesses) while keeping them away from higher profile jobs—only 19 percent of chefs are women, “even though traditionally most women are more likely to do a majority of the cooking at home.”

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.