D.C. Council casts first vote to repeal tipped-wage ballot initiative

The D.C. Council on Tuesday tentatively agreed to repeal a ballot initiative that would raise the minimum wage for tipped workers.

Initiative 77 was approved by 56 percent of voters in the June primary. The council, led by Chairman Phil Mendelson, voted 8-5 to repeal it.

“The chair has been the leader on this issue for many months, and we are happy that he prevailed,” said Andrew Kline, attorney for the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington, which mobilized a movement of tipped workers to call for repeal.

Before a packed house in the D.C. Council chambers, Mendelson sided with hundreds of tipped workers who had testified against Initiative 77 at a 16-hour hearing last month that lasted until 3:30 a.m. Many argued that Initiative 77 would result in lower total pay for tipped workers and the financial burden of paying the full minimum wage would force some restaurants to close.

“They see this as hurting them, and that’s what this debate should be about,” Mendelson told theā€¦

Read the full story from the Washington Business Journal.