A majority of D.C.'s lawmakers again voted to repeal a voter-approved ballot measure that would increase the minimum wage for tipped workers in the District.
D.C. Council members voted 8 to 5 Tuesday to overturn Initiative 77. They voted in the first of two votes earlier this month. The matter now goes to Mayor Muriel Bowser, who is expected to agree with the Council majority.
Earlier this month, Chairman Phil Mendelson sided with groups of servers that have vocally opposed the bill.
"We don't pass minimum wage bills knowing that it will hurt people," Mendelson said.
Council member Trayon White then stood up for what D.C. residents chose.
"We cannot reject the will of the voters," he said.
Opponents say the initiative will hurt restaurant owners and decrease workers' tips. Supporters claim the law protects against discrimination and harassment while possibly bolstering paychecks.
D.C. voters passed Initiative 77 in June. The measure requires restaurants to annually raise the minimum wages of tipped employees by $1.50 until 2025, when the rate is set to match the $15 minimum wage for non-tipped employees. Servers, bartenders, salon workers and parking attendants, among others, could still receive tips.
The District has hiked its minimum wage since 2014, and it will continue to rise to $15 by 2020. The minimum wage in D.C. is currently $13.25, but tipped employees are exempt and paid just $3.33 hourly. If tipped employees don't earn minimum wage with the addition of their tips, their employers are required to pay the difference.
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