Vice President Joe Biden, the point man for boosting the minimum wage to $10.10, on Wednesday took his campaign to a Washington, D.C., landmark, the Florida Avenue Grill, which pays its workers a minimum wage to tipped employees of $3.77.
That is above the federally required $2.13 hourly wage for employees who collect tips, and Biden praised the owner for paying more on his own. Restaurants are required to pay a wage and tips that total the minimum wage of $7.25.
"In this battle here about some kind of wage equity, I don't want it to go unnoticed that there are a lot of restaurant owners around the country think that the wage being paid should be raised and that it's good for business overall. When you raise the tipped wage, the tip minimum, or the overall minimum wage, all of that money goes back into the economy," said Biden.
"This guy, he went ahead and you know, the tipped minimum wage has not been raised in 20 years. He went ahead and raised it by over a dollar," he said, adding: "Everybody thinks waitresses and waiters make all kinds of money. They are three times as likely to be in poverty. They are not in a situation where it's easy for them. This gesture is an important -- more than a gesture, this act -- is an important act, and I just wanted to highlight that."
From the White House press pool report:
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at email@example.com.
VP arrives at 12:57 at Florida Avenue Grill in Washington, D.C. to praise the restaurant for paying workers above tipped minimum wage. Florida Avenue Grill recently raised its minimum wage for tipped workers — now paying employees $3.77 plus tips, above the tipped minimum wage amount. The restaurant is owned by Imar Hutchins.
He will speak with employees and customers about the administrations proposed minimum wage hike from $7.25 an hour to $10.10. The White House says that this will benefit more than 28 million workers, directly boost wages of 19 million.
The visit is on the heels of a new report the White House released today "The Impact of Raising the Minimum Wage on Women. In the report, the administration says that 55 percent of all workers who would benefit from the wage hike are women.
Currently, 32 states and DC have enacted raises in the tipped minimum wage above the Federal wage, while 19 states still pay the minimum amount.