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Tipped employees protest amendment that would raise minimum wage

Published: Oct. 30, 2020 at 8:01 PM CDT
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DESTIN, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -

Floridians are just days away from heading to the polls to vote in the November election if they haven’t already.

In addition to the presidential election, they will also decide a handful of constitutional amendments.

One of those would raise the minimum wage to 15 dollars an hour by the year 2026.

Friday, tipped employees in Destin rallied against the measure, because they say it would end up hurting them because they would make less money.

“The sales of the restaurant would probably, typically go down because people wouldn’t come out as much because we’ll have to raise prices to have that effect on the restaurant industry if we paid every employee 15 dollars (or more) an hour, for tipped wages, it would definitely hurt us,” said John Perry, who manages Rockin' Tacos.

Those for the change, say raising the minimum wage would also raise the quality of work done by employees.

But one local bartender says the opposite.

“I’ve been able to raise my children and help my husband pay bills with the money I make as a bartender, and if they go to 15 dollars an hour, I’m going to have to get more than one job to help him do that, and that takes away from my family time, it takes away from my kids,” said Heather Parsons, a bartender at the Crab Trap.

Parsons said raising the minimum wage would also negatively impact tourism.

“Our restaurants are going to have to raise the prices on food and drinks so high that the people who have been able to enjoy coming here are not going to be able to come here, they’re not going to be able to afford to rent the houses or the condos and enjoy their time on the beach here, it’s going to affect us greatly,” said Parsons.

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