​“Minimum Wage, Maximum Controversy”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 20, 2014
Contact: Allison Moore 502-618-1372

LOUISVILLE – Team Mitch released the following statement and background information following a CNN report on Alison Lundergan Grimes’ minimum wage hypocrisy.

“Alison Lundergan Grimes has made minimum wage hikes and the ‘war on women’ the cornerstone of her campaign, while her family restaurant features menu items named after women’s body parts and pays workers $2.13 per hour.  It is hard to find a more blatant form of hypocrisy that undermines a candidate any more than this does,” said Team Mitch spokeswoman Allison Moore.

 Grimes’ Family Restaurant Pays Staffers Only The Minimum Wage. “But documents and interviews with employees reveal that, like many restaurants, her family's burger joint pays some tipped staffers minimum wage.” (Chris Frates, Scott Zamost, “Grimes and her family's Hugh Jass Burgers,” CNN, 10/20/14)

“Grimes’ Family Doesn’t Always Practice What She Preaches” . “But the restaurant owned by Grimes' family doesn't always practice what she preaches, and Kentucky Republicans have been happy to point that out.” (Chris Frates, Scott Zamost, “Grimes and her family's Hugh Jass Burgers,” CNN, 10/20/14)

Grimes Has Done Legal Work For Hugh Jass Burgers, As Well As Represent Them In A Lawsuit. “And while Grimes doesn't own the restaurant, she did do legal work for the business, signing incorporation documents and representing it in a lawsuit.” (Chris Frates, Scott Zamost, “Grimes and her family's Hugh Jass Burgers,” CNN, 10/20/14)

Hugh Jass Burger’s Menu Items “Has Raised Eyebrows”. “But minimum wage isn't the only issue dogging Grimes' family business. Hugh Jass Burgers -- say it out loud to get the joke -- has menu items like "Charlotte's Rack, sure to be voted biggest rack" named after Grimes' mom and "Abby's Hugh Jass," a burger named after her sister. They also sell souvenirs like an apron with "Check Out My Buns" emblazoned across it. The restaurant's approach has raised eyebrows, especially since Grimes' camp accused the GOP of sexism.” (Chris Frates, Scott Zamost, “Grimes and her family's Hugh Jass Burgers,” CNN, 10/20/14)

“When we tried to ask Grimes about her family's use of double entendre, she refused to answer, letting her security detail lead her away from reporters.” (Chris Frates, Scott Zamost, “Grimes and her family's Hugh Jass Burgers,” CNN, 10/20/14)

​Background On Tipped Minimum Wage ​

Paying Waiters $2.13 “Pushes Waiters Into Poverty”. “It Pushes Waiters Into Poverty (And Helps Keep Them There) In most states, restaurants are allowed to pay waiters far less than the minimum wage. The federal rate for servers in the U.S. is just $2.13 an hour, and in 19 states, that's what servers make.” (Hunter Stuart, “9 Reasons We Should Abolish Tipping, Once And For All,” Huffington Post, 10/17/14)

A $2.13 Minimum Wage Is “A Great System For The Restaurant Industry” But It Contributes To The Poverty Of Waiters And Waitresses. “This is a great system for the restaurant industry, because it lets businesses pay less than the minimum wage in almost every state. But it contributes to poverty among the waiters and waitresses who toil in diners and other inexpensive restaurants across the country”  (Hunter Stuart, “9 Reasons We Should Abolish Tipping, Once And For All,” Huffington Post, 10/17/14)

Servers Are “Nearly Three Times As Likely” To Experience Poverty. “n fact, servers are nearly three times as likely as other workers to experience poverty, according to a March 2014 report from the National Economic Council, the U.S. Department of Labor and others.” (Hunter Stuart, “9 Reasons We Should Abolish Tipping, Once And For All,” Huffington Post, 10/17/14)

Before Bill Clinton Changed The Law, A Tipped Minimum Wage Could Be “No Less Thant 50% Of The Regular Minimum Wage. “The FLSA established that the tipped minimum wage had to be no less than 50 percent of the regular minimum wage. That way, when the regular minimum wage increased, the tipped minimum wage would automatically increase along with it.” (Hunter Stuart, “9 Reasons We Should Abolish Tipping, Once And For All,” Huffington Post, 10/17/14)

In 1996, Bill Clinton Changed The Law, And Decoupled The Tipped Minimum From The Regular Minimum Wage. “The Clinton administration decoupled the tipped minimum wage from the regular minimum wage. As a result, because of inflation, the value of the tipped minimum wage has steadily fallen over the years” (Hunter Stuart, “9 Reasons We Should Abolish Tipping, Once And For All,” Huffington Post, 10/17/14)

The Fact That The Tipped Minimum Wage Has Not Risen Since 1991 Has Been A Boon To The Restaurant Industry. “The current federal tipped minimum wage for servers, $2.13 an hour, is exactly the same as it was in 1991, when the regular minimum wage was $4.25. "What a boon to the restaurant lobby, that for 23 years in a row they've been able to pay the same low wages [to servers]," said Allegretto.” (Hunter Stuart, “9 Reasons We Should Abolish Tipping, Once And For All,” Huffington Post, 10/17/14)

Some Restaurants In Kentucky Have Already Instituted A Guaranteed Wage Instead Of Relying On Tips. “Packhouse Meats, an independent eatery in Newport, Kentucky, is one establishment that's already experienced the benefits of paying waiters a guaranteed wage. Servers at Packhouse Meats make $10 an hour or 20 percent of their sales -- whichever amount is greater. (Hunter Stuart, “9 Reasons We Should Abolish Tipping, Once And For All,” Huffington Post, 10/17/14)

Sexual Harassment Of Waitress Is More Prevalent In States That Pay $2.13 An Hour. “The tipping economy is particularly unfriendly to women. According to an October 2014 report from ROC, 80 percent of female servers say they've been sexually harassed at some point in their careers, and sexual harassment is more prevalent in states that only pay servers the federal sub-minimum wage of $2.13 an hour, as opposed to states that mandate a higher minimum wage. "Since women restaurant workers living off tips are forced to rely on customers for their income rather than their employer, these workers must often tolerate inappropriate behavior from customers, co-workers, and management," the report says. "This dynamic contributes to the restaurant industry's status as the single largest source of sexual harassment claims in the U.S." (Hunter Stuart, “9 Reasons We Should Abolish Tipping, Once And For All,” Huffington Post, 10/17/14)

Do you like this post?