Black restaurant employees hurt the most during pandemic, report says

Black workers reported an increase in sexual harassment

A recent report shows that Black workers in the restaurant industry received less tips than other racial groups during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to CNBC, nearly 90 percent of Black workers said that their tips declined by 50 percent or more. Overall, 78 percent of workers said their tips declined similarly.

Prior to the pandemic, Black service workers were more likely than other racial groups to report that their average hourly wage was less than $15. Black workers also reported that their hourly income was also as low as $10 including tips, according to One Fair Wage.

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The survey consisted of 4,100 workers from five states and Washington D.C. who participated between October 2020 and January 2021 via the phone and via email.

The report, Ending A Legacy of Slavery: How Biden’s COVID Relief Plan Cures the Racist Subminimum Wage, “sheds light on the disparities to Black tipped restaurant workers during the pandemic and connects them to the long history devaluing Black labor in the restaurant and hospitality industry.”

One Fair Wage also found that 8 in 10 workers experienced hostile reactions after enforcing coronavirus protocols including social distancing and wearing masks, resulting in fewer tips.

Black workers also reported an increase in sexual harassment including #MaskualHarrassment, a term that describes a man pressuring a woman to remove her mask to determine the amount of tips given based on their appearance.

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During COVID relief conversations, President Joe Biden proposed raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour from $7.25.

Biden said on Friday that the increase will not be included in the COVID-19 relief bill, but instead believes it should “stand by itself,” according to Business Insider.

“Look, no one should work 40 hours a week and live below the poverty wage. And if you’re making less than $15 an hour, you’re living below the poverty wage,” Biden said.

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