DC restaurants brace as 'Initiative 82,' eliminating tipped wage system, goes into effect

Tipped workers in D.C. will be getting a boost in their paychecks starting Monday all thanks to last year's passage of initiative 82 which eliminates the District's tip credit.

FOX 5's Maureen Umeh said it's taken some months for Initiative 82 to be implemented. She says it comes with mixed reaction from some restaurant owners and their tipped employees.

Before the passage of Initiative 82, tipped workers in the nation's capital made $5.35 hour, as long as they made enough tips to meet the minimum wage of $16.10 an hour.

But now employers will be required to pay that full minimum wage of $16.10 an hour regardless of how much an employee earns in tips.

It won't all happen at once. The new pay increase will be phased in gradually over the next five years with tipped workers getting an increase of two-dollars per hour in minimum wage each year until 2027.

Tipped employees applaud the law, but some restaurant owners say the pay increase could force them to move to Maryland or Virginia, lay off staff, or raise menu prices.