Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

December 6, 2023

Campaign to eliminate separate minimum wage for restaurant workers reaches ballot

A waiter puts a plate down in front of four people sitting at a restaurant table A server works the lunch crowd at Bertucci's in Shrewsbury

The One Fair Wage Campaign, an organization supporting a ballot initiative to eliminate the lower minimum wage some restaurant workers are subject to, have reached the signature threshold needed to have the measure placed on the 2024 ballot.

Massachusetts has a minimum wage of $15, but tipped service workers are subject to a minimum wage of $6.75, with the expectation tips received during their shift will make up the difference.

Organizers collected more than 85,000 confirmed signatures, exceeding the 75,000 threshold required by the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth, according to a press release issued Tuesday by the Cambridge-based campaign.

The signatures have been certified by the Secretary of the Commonwealth, and the measure will appear on the ballot.

“The response from the public has been incredibly revealing and impactful, and the certification of our signatures is a monumental victory," Saru Jayaraman, president of One Fair Wage, said in the release. "Many of our signature gatherers across Massachusetts shared that the majority of people they approached were horrified and embarrassed that Massahusetts still allows tipped workers to pay $6.45 an hour, and that it is a legacy of slavery. This certification marks a decisive moment in our campaign, clearly showing that Massachusetts voters are ready to move away from outdated wage practices and towards a system that guarantees dignity, justice, and economic security for all workers.”

These efforts are part of a larger campaign to eliminate separate lower minimum wages for tipped workers nationwide. 

Cities such as Washington D.C and Chicago have already eliminated their lower wage for restaurant workers, and organizers of the One Fair Wage campaign claim 13 states are considering similar moves. Lawmakers in Connecticut are considering legislation to see the state abolish its lower wage for tipped workers.

Sign up for Enews

WBJ Web Partners


Sharon Tonelli
December 6, 2023

It is certainly far beyond time that this unfair wage system is eliminated.

Order a PDF