Taken directly from One Fair Wage
Restaurant workers, gig workers and other hourly workers are facing unprecedented economic hardship from the coronavirus crisis. It’s our turn to serve them.
The One Fair Wage campaign is fighting to end unjust sub-minimum wages in America. Under federal law, many service workers can be paid a sub-minimum wage. Tips are supposed to make up the difference, but they often don’t. And because of a policy that’s literally a holdover from the slavery era, our nations’ largest workforce of women of color work hard all day for pocket change. Furthermore, the growing workforce of app-based workers who are tipped live equally precarious lives as independent contractors. Which means when a crisis hits, and tips disappear, all of these workers have nothing to fall back on.
We’re raising emergency cash assistance funds to support tipped workers and other service workers who are being fired, seeing their shifts cut and their customers dry up, and/or are staying home for health and the safety of others. Tipped workers and other service workers were already struggling. In this crisis, they need our help.
Your generosity can immediately help a service worker and their family not slip even further into poverty during this crisis. Tipped workers and other service workers who are seeing their customers decline, or those forced to quarantine at home and not get paid, need immediate support. Please give what you can!
We’re providing cash assistance to restaurant workers, car service drivers, delivery workers, personal service workers and more who need the money they aren’t getting to survive.
One Fair Wage Campaign Emergency Fund Supports Tipped Workers and Service Workers Affected by Coronavirus and Economic Downturn
The One Fair Wage Emergency Fund is an online fundraising effort to support tipped workers and service workers across the country suffering unprecedented economic hardship in the face of the global coronavirus pandemic, as restaurants and other establishments close nationwide. The fund will provide free, cash assistance to restaurant workers, delivery drivers and other tipped workers and service workers who were already struggling financially and are bearing the economic brunt of this crisis.
Nationwide, many service workers are paid the federal sub-minimum wage of just $2.13 — which hasn’t been increased in almost three decades. Seven states have moved to One Fair Wage with tips on top, but everywhere else in America, restaurant workers and other tipped workers rely on tips to feed their families and pay their bills. Which means they can’t afford to not work, even when they’re sick. And if Americans stop eating out and using other services, tipped workers don’t get paid.
“This global health crisis for all of us is also an acute economic crisis for tipped workers and service workers,” said Saru Jayaraman, co-founder and president of One Fair Wage. “These are the workers who have trouble making ends meet in good times. In hard times like this, they need our help.”
“We’re hoping to raise as much money as possible to give as many workers as possible cash assistance of $213,” said Jayaraman. “We chose that amount as a nod to the horrific $2.13 federal sub-minimum wage for tipped workers.” Jayaraman noted that in addition to supporting the One Fair Wage Emergency Fund, the organization is calling on Americans to demand the federal government and every state end the sub-minimum wage and adopt One Fair Wage — not just in this crisis, but permanently.
Recently, One Fair Wage released a white paper and public letter directed at New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, authored by leading doctors and epidemiologists showing that One Fair Wage is a critical tool for combatting coronavirus spread, because it allows service workers to afford to stay home when they are sick. This is in addition to previous research that shows workers paid a sub-minimum wage are subject to higher rates of poverty and sexual harassment.
“I’ve been a tipped restaurant worker for 20 years, struggling to make ends meet on a subminimum wage plus the fluctuations of tips. Tips have been really low over the past week, and now they’re shutting down restaurants in NY and across the country. Unemployment insurance is not enough for tipped workers, whose income is valued by a subminimum wage. This fund could save lives right now,” said Damani Varnado, New York City tipped restaurant worker.
Eligible workers will be screened in phone interviews with One Fair Wage staff and any additional unused funds will be spent on tipped worker organizing and advocacy. The One Fair Wage campaign is a fiscally sponsored project of the Seattle-based Alliance for a Just Society, which is administering the tax-deductible 501(c)3 donations.
Meet some of our OFW Coronavirus Emergency Fund recipients and see how your donations are helping them through this incredibly tough time.
Jessica S. (CA) “After losing my job at a restaurant as a server due to COVID 19, I lost all my forms of income and had to proceed to file for Ul! Signing up with One Fair Wage and talking to them about my troubles helped tremendously! I’m so thankful to you guys! Happy to know I got my check in the mail about a week later! Very helpful in these trying times.”
Faryn K. (DC) “I plan to use this support mainly on groceries and to cover any other bills that come due while waiting for unemployment and government relief to be distributed. I’m spending minimally these days since we just don’t know when that other relief will come.”
Brice R. (FL) “Thank you for all the help!”
Iman S. (NY) “To all my brothers and sisters in hospitality – One Fair Wage is here to help. I know most of us feel overlooked, ironic considering we make up more than half the work staff in NYC(and the country). Many of us are pursuing other passions but these jobs provide for a bigger picture – while we didn’t see this coming it’s here and there are ways to alleviate some stress. Help is here and we are seen.”
Javier F.(NY) “Thank you. God bless you. I plan to use the funds for anything my newborn needs.”
Rida K. (FL) “One Fair Fight, One Great Help!. Thank You.”
Margaux B. (NY) “I can’t thank you guys enough for your help during this crisis. Without this initiative and your generosity, workers like myself would have been left to fend for themselves in those tough times. I hope you get to raise more money to help all of those in need. Solidarity is really important.”
Julia T. (NY) “Thank you for the payment and relief. Because of this, I was able to purchase groceries that will last at least 2 weeks. Your contribution made such a difference in my life, and I’m sure to many others as well.”