Working Below the Line: How the Subminimum Wage for Tipped Restaurant Workers Violates International Human Rights Standards

Food Labor Research Center, International Human Rights Law Clinic at UC Berkeley, and Restaurant Opportunities Centers United


Rooted in exploitation of workers, the custom of tipping has evolved since its origins in the late nineteenth century. It has become codified in a two-tiered minimum wage system that denies tipped restaurant workers fair wages and basic labor protections. This report sheds light on the ways in which federal and state laws maintain this wage structure and enable working conditions in the restaurant industry that violate fundamental human rights protections for tipped workers, particularly women and people of color.


Download the Report