In order to launch this database, our team reached out to dozens of large companies to ask if they pay any of their employees the subminimum wage for tipped workers. We included companies who were listed in publicly available databases that met our criteria: U.S. based publicly traded companies that are listed as full service restaurants and, therefore, might employ tipped workers.
In our initial and subsequent correspondence with companies we asked companies to respond to our inquiry with one of three responses;
- Your company has ended or never used the practice of paying a subminimum wage for tipped employees. No tipped employee receives the subminimum wage for tipped employees in any location or subsidiary
- Your company does currently use the practice of paying a subminimum wage for tipped employees in any location or subsidiary, and
- Your company does currently use the practice of paying a subminimum wage for tipped employees in any location or subsidiary, but commits to ending this practice by December 31st, 2020. We explicitly informed companies that, if we did not receive a response to our inquiry within the specified timeframe, then a lack of response would be interpreted as an indication that the organization likely does pay a subminimum wage to tipped employees, as this is statistically the case for the majority of U.S. full service restaurant companies who do not exclusively operate in CA, NV, AK, MI, OR, MT and WA, where employers are required to pay the full state minimum wage before tips.
When companies indicate that they do pay a subminimum wage to tipped workers in any location or subsidiary, they are listed as “Pays a Subminimum Wage to Tipped Employees”.