Rose's Luxury in Washington, D.C. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images

Washington, D.C.'s city council is preparing to vote on a bill to repeal an initiative that requires businesses to pay tipped workers minimum wage, reports the Washington Post.

Why it matters: Supporters of Initiative 77, which is scheduled to go into effect in October, say workers often don't make enough in tips to earn minimum wage. Critics say the law would raise labor costs and ultimately lead to fewer jobs.

The backdrop: Businesses in Washington are currently allowed to pay restaurant workers as little as $3.89 per hour, as long as they make up the difference between tips and minimum wage — which currently sits at $13.25 but will reach $15 by 2020. The new law, which was approved via ballot initiative in June, outlaws the practice of paying tipped workers a lower wage.

  • According to Vox, tipped servers in D.C. barely make above minimum wage and are twice as likely to live in poverty than the rest of the city's workers.
  • The limited research that has been done on the effects of raising tipped minimum wage varies in its findings. Overall, businesses end up paying a greater percentage of their workers' wages — with that added cost often passed onto consumers in the form of higher menu prices.
  • In New York, where tipped minimum wage was raised from $5.00 to $7.50 in 2015, server wages increased by 6% with no negative impact on the number of restaurant jobs, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • But in D.C., hundreds of servers, restaurant owners and others in the industry signed up to testify in favor of repealing the initiative, claiming it would force businesses to close and customers to stop tipping.

The big picture: There are currently seven states where it's illegal to pay a lower wage to tipped workers. Positive results in Washington, the first major city to pass such a law, could have bolstered the fight to slow income inequality in the U.S. But based on what council members said at a hearing Monday, it's looking increasingly likely that the experiment won't get a chance to take effect.

Go deeper: None of the state minimum wages provide a family living wage

Several states putting minimum wage on the ballot in November

Go deeper

Updated 1 min ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 20,004,254 — Total deaths: 733,929 — Total recoveries — 12,209,226Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 5,088,516 — Total deaths: 163,400 — Total recoveries: 1,670,755 — Total tests: 62,513,174Map.
  3. Politics: Trump claims he would have not called for Obama to resign over 160,000 virus deathsHouse will not hold votes until Sept. 14 unless stimulus deal is reached.
  4. Business: Richer Americans are more comfortable eating out.
  5. Public health: 5 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week — A dual coronavirus and flu threat is set to deliver a winter from hell.
  6. Sports: The cost of kids losing gym class — College football is on the brink.
  7. World: Europe's CDC recommends new restrictions amid "true resurgence in cases."

AOC to speak at Dem convention

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez during an April a press conference in Queens, New York City. Photo: Scott Heins/Getty Images)

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will speak at the Democratic convention next week ahead of Sen. Bernie Sanders' appearance on the Tuesday night, CNN first reported and Axios has confirmed

Why it matters: Her involvement is a strategic decision to energize young progressives without tying former Vice President Joe Biden too closely or directly with her agenda.

1 hour ago - World

Protests in Belarus turn deadly following sham election

An arrest today in Minsk. Photo: Natalia Fedosenko/TASS via Getty

Protesters and security forces are clashing across Belarus tonight, with at least one person dead, hundreds injured and thousands arrested.

Why it matters: Sunday’s rigged presidential elections have yielded political uncertainty unlike any seen in Aleksander Lukashenko’s 26-year tenure. After claiming an implausible 80% of the vote, Lukashenko is using every tool in the authoritarian arsenal to maintain his grip on power.