Start of DC’s tipped minimum wage hikes delayed for months

The tipped minimum wage for workers like bartenders, servers and salon workers was scheduled to increase on Jan. 1 in the District, but the hike has been pushed back by a few months because of red tape.

The D.C. Council unanimously approved emergency legislation Tuesday to delay the first increase to $6 until May 1.

“This clarification will mitigate the confusion and provide businesses with sufficient notice to prepare for the accurate implementation of the law,” said Council member Anita Bonds during Tuesday’s legislative meeting.

Like all measures in the District, it must be approved by Congress — which is one of the reasons the wage hike has been delayed.

“The expected date that the Congressional review period will end is the 28th of April,” said Bonds.

Initiative 82, which would increase tipped workers’ wages, was also not submitted to Congress until Jan. 10 because of the tumultuous votes for a new House Speaker that took four days.

Another reason for the delay is voters were first scheduled to vote on Initiative 82 during June’s primary, but instead, it appeared on Nov. midterm election ballots.

The new schedule will not affect any other hikes, including one just two months later on July 1.

D.C. voters passed Initiative 82 with overwhelming support, nearly 75% approved.

Under the initiative, tipped workers’ wages would be gradually raised to match the base wage of non-tipped workers by 2027, on top of tips.

Luke Lukert

Since joining WTOP Luke Lukert has held just about every job in the newsroom from producer to web writer and now he works as a full-time reporter. He is an avid fan of UGA football. Go Dawgs!

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