Our Work

One Fair Wage works to advance policy, drive industry change, and shift the narrative in order to ensure that all workers in America are paid at least the full minimum wage from their employers. We are organizing service workers, employers, and consumers in more than half a dozen states to advance local, state, and federal policy requiring One Fair Wage – a full minimum wage with tips on top.

Why One Fair Wage? 

The service sector is one of the largest and fastest-growing sectors of the United States economy, but also the lowest paying. The restaurant industry includes 7 of the 10 lowest-paying jobs in the country. In fact, people who work in the industry are twice as likely to need food stamps as the rest of the US workforce, and three times as likely to live in poverty. The sector’s low wages are due to the money, power, and influence of a trade lobby called the National Restaurant Association (“The Other NRA”) which has lobbied since Emancipation to maintain a subminimum wage for tipped workers – a literal legacy of slavery. The Other NRA’s lobbying has resulted in a federal minimum wage for tipped workers today of $2.13 an hour and in tipped workers in 43 states receiving a subminimum wage — these workers include not only restaurant servers, bussers, hosts, bartenders, but also workers in nail salons, hair salons, car washes, airports, and parking lots. And now app-based companies like InstaCart, DoorDash, Uber, and Lyft are also pushing for subminimum wages for their employees, arguing that their customer tips should count toward their workers’ payments. Subminimum wages are also paid to workers with disabilities, incarcerated workers, and youth workers in most states. One Fair Wage is calling for ‘No Worker Left Behind;’ that every person who works should be paid at least a full, fair minimum wage from their employer. Seventy percent of tipped workers are women. Since a living base wage is not guaranteed, and women are instead forced to depend on tips, restaurant workers report experiencing the highest rates of harassment from customers, co-workers, and management of any industry. The EEOC has targeted the restaurant industry as the single largest source of sexual harassment charges filed by women with a rate FIVE TIMES higher than any other industry.


For general inquiries about One Fair Wage, contact info@onefairwage.org