After working for more than 70 hours in an Austin sports bar, Aaliyah Cortez posted a TikTok video of her $9 paycheck. In the video, Cortez asks whoever is watching to always tip their servers.
“This is my hourly for two weeks, I worked almost 71 hours,” Cortez said via her TikTok account, @f.aa.ded. “I get paid $2.13 an hour as a bartender and a server. I should have made $150.81, but because I have to have Social Security, Medicare, and the income tax taken out, I was paid $9.28 for 70 hours of work.”
Cortez acknowledges that she did get tips to make up the difference but that the low “hourly” pay from her job, which BuzzFeed reports she has held for over a year, “is why you tip.”
In an interview with BuzzFeed, Cortez described her frustration with both customers who don’t tip and labor laws that make this kind of wage legal.
“There are laws set up that allow tipped employees to be paid under the federal minimum wage, which makes us rely on the customer to pay our wages,” Cortez told BuzzFeed. “It’s not right that we have to do this, but I wanted to shed some light on the issue and inform the public about the importance of tipping.”
According to BuzzFeed, the young mother is happy with her job but largely depends on the “generosity of her customers.”
“I just wish we were all being paid adequately and consistently,” Cortez told BuzzFeed. “As you can see—by my check—I cannot afford to live off of $2.13 an hour, so I solely rely on the generosity of my customers.”
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