December 6, 2020 1:00 PM | With information from EFE
15 minutes. 83% of waiters in restaurants and bars in the United States (USA) saw their tips drop during the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, a 67% found that when they try to get customers to comply with biosafety protocols, they leave them less money than usual for service, according to a new study.
The One Fair Wage organization, which encourages all states in the country to grant these workers, mostly women and of color, the full minimum wage regardless of what they receive as tips, surveyed 1,675 people who serve the public in establishments where food is served.
The objective of the investigation was to know if the pandemic has brought changes in the attitude of customers.
The survey was conducted in New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Washington DC. It was done by phone and email between October 20 and November 10.
One Fair Wage highlighted the high levels of unemployment suffered by waiters in the United States due to the closure of restaurants and bars due to confinement due to COVID-19. Also, due to the problems that have been found, including a increased sexual harassment, in the reopening with restrictions of these establishments.
Legacy of slavery
The organization considers a “legacy of slavery” that, At the federal level, the wage for these workers is set at $ 2.13 an hour, below the minimum wage. In order to sustain themselves, they depend on tips from customers, as is the case in 43 states across the country.
Only in 7 states – California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Montana, Minnesota and Alaska – are restaurants required to pay minimum wage to their employees, One Fair Wage said.
“These workers have become essential and de facto gendarmes of public health, because they must enforce the protocols for the use of masks and safety distance in one of the most dangerous environments for the spread of the pandemic. “This was stated by the non-governmental organization.
Of the 83% of those who said tips dropped during the pandemic, 66% put the reduction in at least half.
Sexual hostility and comments
78% of waiters said they had experienced or witnessed hostile behavior by customers to their efforts to enforce anti-COVID-19 protocols in the US.
In fact, 67% reported receiving less than usual tip after being asked to wear masks or to distance themselves.
One Fair Wage pointed out that 60% of workers who are supported by tips have not been able to access unemployment benefits. Your salary is so low that you don’t qualify.
The study, which is titled a phrase that a customer said to a waitress (Take off your mask to see what tip I leave you), dedicates a chapter to sexual harassment of waitresses and baristas. Also, post a long list of comments similar to the one mentioned.
43% of the workers surveyed said that have experienced or witnessed unwanted sexual comments. Specifically, related to prevention protocols.
Regarding exposure to COVID-19, 10% of those consulted said they had been infected. Meanwhile, 44% assured that in the restaurant where you work there have been one or more employees who have contracted the disease. Several academics and universities collaborated in the study.
The United States, the country with the most cases and deaths from coronavirus in the world, is experiencing a rebound in the pandemic this fall.