There’s another terrible NRA, if you can believe it.

This NRA stands for National Restaurant Association, which sounds fairly innocuous, at least compared to the gun fetishist lobby we’ve all come to know and despise.


Via UltraViolet (email):

Dear Iris,

Did you know that the federal minimum wage for the 10 million restaurant workers in the U.S. is $2.13 an hour?1 The workers–70 percent women, and 40 percent mothers–are forced to rely almost entirely on tips.2 It‘s unfair, but it’s about to become even more unfair: one of Trump’s cabinet nominees is considering making it legal for employers to confiscate tips.

Labor Secretary Alex Acosta is planning to get rid of tip protection for workers and allow employers to dictate how much tip money, if any, workers can keep.3 It’s shameless.

This scheme has been moving along quietly, but if Acosta suddenly saw public backlash he may just pull the plug on his plan. That’s why UltraViolet is partnering with Restaurant Opportunities Center and Presente to stop Acosta from subjecting women to legal wage theft. Will you sign to send this message to Labor Secretary Acosta?

Not only are tipped workers subject to unstable wages, they have to endure sexual harassment to earn the tips Trump’s nominee is trying to steal. In fact, the restaurant industry is the single largest source of sexual harassment complaints in the U.S.–a 2014 report shows that paying workers a real wage will cut sexual harassment in the restaurant industry by half.4 But instead of giving these women a fair wage, Acosta’s plan is to let employers confiscate tips employees are sexually harassed for and dictate how much of it employees will get back.

Acosta is pushing this horrible plan because of pressure from the powerful restaurant lobby, the National Restaurant Association (NRA), which has also fought hard to keep restaurant workers earning a sub-minimum wage.5 But there’s still time to stop this rule. If Acosta hears opposition as early as now, we can force him to kill this NRA-backed rule before it goes any further.

Will you help defend millions of low-wage earning women across the country from wage theft?

Thanks for speaking out!

–Nita, Shaunna, Kat, Karin, Adam, Holly, Kathy, Susan, Anathea, Audine, Shannon, Emma, Pilar, Natalie, Melody, Pam, Lindsay, and Ryan, the UltraViolet team



1. Twenty-Three Years and Still Waiting for Change, Economic Policy Institute, July 10, 2014

2. Tipped Over The Edge – Gender Inequity In The Restaurant Industry, Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, February 13, 2012

3. The State of Tipped Workers, Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, February 10, 2014

4. Our Tips Belong to Us, Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, October 23, 2017

5. The Glass Floor: Sexual Harassment in the Restaurant Industry, Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, October 6, 2014

6. $2.13 an Hour? Why the Tipped Minimum Wage Has to Go, The Nation, March 31, 2014


  1. StonedRanger says

    Done. Sent the message: Just because Trump gave you a job doesn’t mean you HAVE to act like a giant DICK. Tipped employees work hard for their tips and its wrong for an employer to be able to take that money. They did not earn it.

  2. Marcus Aurelius says

    I have disagree with the hate toward the National Rifle Association and that it is anything but dispicable but in regards to tips: “Don’t ever touch my tip!”

  3. says

    Oh look, another incoherent comment from “Marcus Aurelius.” Maybe English isn’t your first language? Which is fine, but just FYI I cannot tell if you support the NRifleA or not. If so, go away forever and read Infowars or Breitbart or something equally harmful and disconnected from reality. Alternatively, maybe you’re drunk? If so, believe me I get it. I used to have a rule “don’t drink and blog,” but it had to go because it interfered waaaay too much with my drinking. :D

  4. Onamission5 says

    It gets betterworse. As I understand it, the way things currently stand, employers are already allowed to take a percentage of tips if they pay their servers minimum wage, but that percentage can’t be more than the discrepancy between lowest possible server wage and the minimum. So if a state allows 2.63 for tipped employees, but the min. is 7.25, the employer who pays 7.25 is allowed by law to take 4.62/hr in tips per employee and the tipped employees can only keep what tips they make above that amount.

    Keeping in mind of course that min. wage already isn’t enough to live on in most locations.