DC Tipped Minimum Wage Investigation

With the passage of Initiative 82 this past November, Washington D.C. voters chose to phase out the “tipped minimum wage” for tipped employees, such as restaurant servers. This means that rather than receiving a lower minimum wage, to be supplemented by tips, such workers will be entitled to the full minimum wage mandated for all other workers. The law, however, is not set to be fully implemented until 2027. In the meantime, employees can still pay restaurant servers and other tipped workers a lower tipped minimum wage. This arrangement is ripe for abuse and wage theft. In Washington D.C., restaurants presently only have to pay servers $5.35 an hour, rather than the district’s minimum wage of $15.20 per hour, provided servers make enough in tips to cover the $10.15/hour difference. 

This is only the most recent update to the tipped minimum wage in DC. In the last two years it has been increased twice requiring employers to comply with the following rates accordingly: 

– July 1, 2020-June 30, 2021: 5.00 per hour  

– July 1, 2021-June 30, 2022: 5.05 per hour  

– July 1, 2022- Present: 5.35 per hour  

Even though the tipped wage is much lower than the standard minimum wage, employers remarkably have failed to properly pay even that wage. Self-reported data by employers to the DC government reveals that many restaurants, like Ocean Prime for example, have not paid the correct tipped minimum wage.  

Are you a tipped employee in the District of Columbia who has not been compensated at the correct  tipped minimum wage over the past 3 years?  

If so, we would like to hear from you! Please complete the questionnaire on this page, send an email to [email protected], or give us a call at (202) 470-3520. 


For more information about the tipped minimum wage and potential nationwide violations thereof: 

Violations of Minimum Wage for Servers  

Win for Tipped-Workers Rights 

Investigation of Pennsylvania Tipped Minimum Wage   


Attorneys Committed to Fighting Wage Theft  

The lawyers at Migliaccio & Rathod LLP have years of experience in class action litigation involving wage theft cases. We have recovered millions of dollars for restaurant workers, including for servers in IHOP restaurants and Assistant Managers in Bob Evans restaurants. (Disclaimer: Past results do not guarantee future outcomes). More information about our current cases and investigations is available on our blog.