Washington, D.C. — Today marks Latina Equal Pay Day, the estimated 2019 date until which a Latina who works full time, year round must work in the current year to make as much as the amount a white, non-Hispanic man working full time, year round earned in the previous year alone. Last year, Latinas made 54.5 cents for every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men. Experts attribute a significant part of the wage gap to discrimination. On top of discrimination in hiring, promotion, and pay, Latinas are often systematically funneled into low-wage occupations, including jobs in which a portion of their wages comes from tips.
At the federal level, tipped workers currently receive just $2.13 per hour from their employer, compared with $7.25 per hour for nontipped workers. While employers are required by law make up the difference when their tips don’t reach the standard minimum wage, in practice, that rarely happens and is nearly impossible to enforce.
A new analysis from the Center for American Progress looks at the role that the tipped minimum wage plays in exacerbating the wage gap for Latinas. Using data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, Lily Roberts, director of Economic Mobility at the Center for American Progress, found:
“Abolishing the subminimum wage for tipped workers would be an important step in reducing the white-Latinx pay gap,” said Roberts. “The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Raise the Wage Act this summer, which would eliminate the tipped minimum wage. Now, it’s time for the Senate to act to ensure that Latinas—and all workers—are compensated fairly for their labor.”