Testimony on Maryland Senate Bill 803

Labor and Employment - Payment of Minimum Wage - Tipped Employees

 

Thank you for the opportunity to offer testimony in support of SB 803. Progressive Maryland is a grassroots nonprofit organization with regional chapters from Frederick to the Lower Shore and more than 100,000 members and supporters who live in nearly every legislative district in the state. In addition, there are dozens of affiliated community, faith, and labor organizations across the state that stand behind our work. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families in Maryland. Please note our strong support for SB 803.

I support the passage of SB0803 to phase out the tipped minimum wage in Maryland. This bill is essential for ensuring economic equity for all workers, particularly low-income and women workers who traditionally rely heavily on tips to make a living wage. Gratuities should be a bonus for a good service, not a customer subsidy to employers for their wage bills.

I was raised by a single mother who dedicated over two decades of her life to waitressing at a Waffle House. Despite working tirelessly in excess of 50 hours per week, my mother struggled to provide me with basic necessities such as clothes, food, and a stable home. She could not afford childcare, so I spent most of my young life sitting in a restaurant booth, doing my homework on the linoleum tables while my mother worked to provide for us. The physical demands of the job caused her medical issues, including herniated discs in her spine, but she had no choice but to continue working. 

The worst part? This isn’t just our story. The financial insecurity that plagues tipped workers affects the entire community around them. It reinforces a harmful culture that values physical appearance over job performance and leaves families like mine struggling to make ends meet.

Our progress should not come at the expense of our community members. We need to come together to create a world where every hardworking individual can live with dignity and financial security. For these reasons, I respectfully urge a favorable report on SB 803

 

Sincerely,

Bee Van Hall

Bee Van Hall

About

Bee has an extensive background managing social media platforms and utilizes that background to assist Progressive Maryland as a Social Media Coordinator. They live in Annapolis, Maryland with their partner and their cat, Jinx.