An initiative on the ballot Tuesday for D.C. voters will decide whether the city’s hourly minimum wage will increase for tipped workers.
Known as Initiative 82, the measure would incrementally increase the minimum wage for tipped employees from its current level of $5.35 to match the minimum wage of non-tipped workers in 2027. As of July 1, 2021, the District’s minimum wage is $16.10 for non-tipped employees.
On June 19, 2018, District voters approved Initiative 77, which like Initiative 82, mandated workers in tipping industries to receive a minimum wage by 2026. However, the D.C. Council voted 8-5 to repeal Initiative 77 on Oct. 16, 2018, before it became law.
The proposed increase would not apply to city government employees because their wages are governed by the Minimum Wage Act Revision Act of 1992, which established the minimum wage at $15 per hour on July 1, 2020, and tied to inflation.
If passed by the voters, the measure would take effect after a 30-day period of congressional review.
Organizations such as the D.C. Committee to Build a Better Restaurant Industry supports Initiative 82 while the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington has become a leader in its opposition, WTOP reported.
However, D.C. Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio said Initiative 82, if passed by the voters, would probably need to be reworked by the D.C. Council.
Falcicchio voiced concerns about restaurants and bars changing their bills to add service charges “and with that comes a more complicated tax issue,” WTOP reported.