One bartender in Texas is taking on the service industry’s standard practice of paying low wages and the importance of tipping in a TikTok that shows just how small her paycheck is.
Aaliyah Cortez uploaded a video of her paycheck on the viral platform, and breaks it all down for viewers. “So this is why you should always tip your bartenders and servers, anyone who waits on you or provides a service for you” she said.
Cortez then pointed out that she worked 70 hours and that she gets paid $2.13 an hour. As if that’s not bad enough, after federal taxes, social security, and Medicare, she ended up with a paycheck of exactly $9.28. “For 70 hours of work,” she stressed.
“Of course, I got tips, but this is what I got for my hourly,” Cortez said. “This is why you tip.”
Cortez’s post has received more than 99,000 likes and 3,058 comments.
Cortez later spoke to BuzzFeed and said she decided to post her video to try to help shed light on how the service industry pays their employees. Laws in some states allow tipped employees to be paid as little as $2.13 an hour, as long as their tips get their average income up to the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. As a result, a service industry employee’s take home pay can be incredibly low.
“It’s not right that we have to do this, but I wanted to shed some light on the issue and inform the public about the importance of tipping,” Cortez said.
Some people pointed out in the comments of Cortez’s post that people in the service industry “get a bunch of tips,” but Cortez responded by saying that not everyone tips well, or even at all.
“I would like to see the system change who pays our wages,” she told The Daily Mail. “Obviously, it should be our employers, but until that can happen we still have to rely on the generosity of our customers.”
Cortez posted a followup TikTok thanking people for watching and listening to her. “I owe it to you guys. Thank you,” she said.
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