D.C. May Overturn Minimum Wage Raise for Restaurant Workers

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District of Columbia lawmakers are looking to overturn Initiative 11, a ballot measure passed by voters in June in raise the minimum wage for restaurant workers. The initiative would require restaurant owners to pay their servers a minimum of $15 per hour.

Currently, the District’s minimum wage for tipped workers $3.89 per hour. Employers are required to pay the difference if their employees don’t earn at least the regular minimum wage, which is currently $13.25 but expected to reach $15 by 2020.

City Council members held an all-day hearing to discuss Initiative 77 on Sept. 17. At the hearing, labor groups testified that Initiative 77 would offer a much-needed boost to low-income families. Over 250 business owners and employees, both for and against the initiative, also testified.

Despite this, the majority of D.C.’s City Council members and Mayor Muriel Bowser oppose the law. Experts say, though, that Initiative 77 would little impact on the city’s economy or popular restaurant scene.

Chantè Russell

Chanté Russell is a Howard University print journalism major from Raleigh, North Carolina. Her entire life has been shaped by her passion for writing, fashion and activism. Those passions have led her to create a blog entitled Be The Zeitgeist and serve as a staff writer for Howard’s student newspaper, The Hilltop. She has also written for Lady With Attitude and worked as a freelance journalist. Some of her biggest role models include Anna Wintour, Maya Angelou and her cousin, Dr. Jennifer Edwards, who inspired Chanté to attend Howard. After completing college, Chanté hopes to work as a fashion journalist and use her platform to combat cultural insensitivity within the fashion industry and improve the public perception of the industry.

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