Friday, February 19, 2010

9to5 Atlanta Launches "Fair Eats" Campaign to Raise Tipped Worker Min Wage

9to5 Atlanta officially kicked off it's 'Fair Eats' Campaign to raise the tipped worker minimum wage. The tipped worker min wage has been stuck at $2.13 for 19 years, and there is currently legislation in the state House, HB 290, that would raise it to $3.63. At the "Show Your Server Some Heart" press conference at Noni's restaurant on Edgewood last Saturday, 2/13, 9to5 Atlanta members spoke out telling their personal stories about struggling to make ends meet on $2.13.

Darci Rondehi, a server at Noni's, explained that $2.13 is supposed to be a deposit on the $7.25 federal minimum wage, and that if a server is not making at least 7.25/hr, the employer should be making up the difference. Member Ebony Thomas testified in front of the legislators of the Black Caucus at the Poor People's Day Hearing on Jobs and Wages on 2/11. She spoke about her struggle to support her children as a server earning $2.13. Watch these inspiring women share their stories here!

9to5’s Min Wage Campaign will have an interactive web page that will allow servers to rate their restaurants (using the criteria below), spotlight restaurants who join our efforts, share progress on public policies that will increase the tipped min wage and highlight servers’ testimonies. Stay tuned for this exciting website!

Here is the break down of how we'll be rating restaurants:

“Measuring the ‘♥’ of Restaurants throughout GA and Beyond!”
1-My guaranteed hourly pay (do not include tips) is:

0-This employer doesn’t have a heart
♥-“Taking baby steps”-$2.13 and honors min wage requirement by paying server the min wage difference when the server doesn’t make min wage via tips
♥♥-Okay-Base Pay $2.14-$3/hr
♥♥♥-Pretty Darn Good-Base Pay$3/hr or more

2-The benefits at my restaurant (server can self-define but can include vacation time, medical, sick time, shift meal, etc)

0-This employer doesn’t have a heart
♥-“Taking baby steps”-Offers a lil something perhaps shift meal, sick or vacation time
♥♥♥-Pretty Darn Good

3-Schedule Flexibility-Does your restaurant accommodate schedule needs?

0-This employer doesn’t have a heart
♥-“Taking baby steps”
♥♥♥-Pretty Darn Good

6 ♥’s earns restaurant window decal that states this restaurant has ♥! The restaurant will be spotlighted on the webpage and we’ll email thousands of people in GA emails with our preferred restaurant list. Together we represent ten of thousands of people who are interested in supporting businesses that are respectful to workers and community

Thursday, February 11, 2010

$2.13 is NOT ENOUGH! Raise the tipped Min Wage in GA

Check out this GREAT video on why $2.13 is NOT ENOUGH!

And join us THIS Saturday, 2/13

Noni's restaurant - 357 Edgewood Avenue, Atlanta GA 30312
Press conference @2pm

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Women Still Seek Paycheck Equity

Atlanta Journal Constitution - 2/5/2010
By Linda Meric - Executive Director of 9to5

View the original:

A year ago, dozens of women’s and civil rights activists gathered at the White House to watch President Barack Obama sign his first piece of legislation into law: the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act.

The signing was a triumphant moment — especially with its namesake, Lilly Ledbetter, standing with us. The bill restored the ability of workers to seek redress for ongoing pay discrimination and its importance to ending inequity cannot be overstated.

But another year has passed, and pay discrimination persists.

The most recent U.S. census statistics show that the pay gap between men’s and women’s earnings actually widened slightly between 2007 and 2008, from 77.8 (generally rounded to 78 percent) to 77 percent.

Based on the median earnings of full-time, year-round workers, women’s earnings were $35,745 and men’s earnings were $46,367.

The gap in median earnings for women of color is even wider. In 2008, the earnings for African-American women were $31,489, 67.9 percent of men’s earnings (a drop from 68.7 percent in 2007), and Latinas’ earnings were $26,846, 58 percent of men’s earnings (a drop from 59 percent in 2007).

In fact, if you look at the National Committee on Pay Equity’s “The Wage Gap Over Time” table, you’ll see how little the gap has changed in this century. There’s still a battle to make things right.

Lilly Ledbetter thought she had won her battle years ago. As a manager at the Goodyear Tire plant in Gadsden, Ala., for 19-plus years, she received the top performance award and was one of four area managers — and the only woman — selected to initiate light truck production at the Gadsden Plant.

Then, the plant was about to close. Lilly Ledbetter decided to retire. Just before she left, someone slipped her an anonymous note that compared her salary to that of three male counterparts.

Though she had always suspected pay discrimination, when she was hired she had agreed to never discuss salaries with other workers.

Until the note, she had no way of knowing she was being underpaid because of her gender.

Ledbetter filed suit. She won, but on appeal, the Supreme Court ruled against her in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber, overturning her original jury award, because she hadn’t filed a charge of discrimination within 180 days of her first discriminatory paycheck.

The court’s 2007 decision against Ledbetter reversed more than 40 years of employment law interpretation and implementation.

Although she received no monetary awards for her fight against pay discrimination, her story led to the introduction of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act in 2007, which passed the House and Senate in January 2009 and was signed into law by the president on Jan. 29, 2009.

Lilly Ledbetter has become an icon of the movement for fair pay.

Still, the Ledbetter Act was only the first hurdle.

Passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act is the critical next step to build on the Ledbetter bill. It is comprehensive legislation that updates the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and strengthens penalties courts may impose for violations of existing equal pay laws.

It also prohibits retaliation against workers who inquire about or share wage information, a critical protection for women to be able to find out if they’re being paid fairly and to do something about it if they’re not.

While Ledbetter restored the law, Paycheck Fairness strengthens it and plugs loopholes in the 1963 Equal Pay Act. The Paycheck Fairness Act was passed by the House of Representatives alongside the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009 with more votes than even the Ledbetter Act. But action by the Senate is pending.

In these tough economic times, no one can afford to be shortchanged by pay discrimination.

But pay discrimination is more perilous now than ever, when so many more families depend on the wages of a woman to make ends meet.

In honor of Lilly, the time to speak out and take action is now.

Linda Meric is executive director of 9to5, National Association of Working Women.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Show Your Server Some Love on 2/13

THIS SATURDAY- Show Your Server Some LOVE on 2/13

When: Saturday, February 13th, 2:00pm to 2:30pm
Where: Noni's restaurant - 357 Edgewood Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30312

On 2/13 the 9to5 Minimum Wage Committee will hold a press conference and kick off our campaign for better wages, starting with raising the tipped Minimum Wage above $2.13! The time is now - There is currently a a Federal bill, the WAGES Act HR 2570 sponsored by Rep Donna Edwards, that would gradually raise the tipped Minimum Wage initially to $3.75, In 2011 to $5.00 and by July 1, 2012 to at least $5.50/hr. The Min Wage Committee believes this bill is very important to the livelihood of many servers and tipped workers.


The minimum wage for tipped workers has been $2.13 for the last 18 years. While profits and living expenses have increased, servers' wages have remained the same. In GA, the general state minimum wage remains at $5.15 while cost of living requires someone to make at least $12/hour to survive in the city of Atlanta.

Our local legislators continue to ignore these issues while more and more people are living under bridges, in shelters, and in temporary housing and substandard living conditions. The Minimum Wage Committee of 9to5 is working to address these issues and improve quality of life in GA!

Contact your Representative TODAY using 9to5's Action Alert on the WAGES Act which would establish a base minimum wage for tipped employees. Click here to take action!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Glass Ceiling Shattering for Women in France

by Stacy Sheets
9to5 Atlanta Member

I couldn’t be more excited and proud of France as I am this morning. Their government just passed a bill which requires companies’ board members to consist of at least 40% women. Currently, the presence of women on corporate boards in France is less than 8% - amongst the lowest in Europe. The bill was passed to help with compensation and career advancement for women. Here’s the greatest part too - their government chamber who passed this bill was mostly men. Females are only 17% of this voting chamber.

Requiring a larger number of women on corporate boards isn’t just good news for highly skilled, advanced working women eager to grab one of these seats. It’s also likely to change how companies look at maternity and family/work life.

Other successful countries who have passed similar bills are Norway, Spain and the Netherlands. Other countries thinking of passing similar bills are Belgium, Britain, and Germany. I’d love to see the United States be added to that list. In corporate American, women constitute 15% of Fortune 500 companies’ board members.

For more coverage on this topic and to learn about how French company L’Oreal incorporates family and maternity benefits, check out this story on NPR: