'Overwhelming majority' of DC restaurants did not disclose tipped wages: report

A new report is highlighting the wage issues that exist in D.C.'s restaurant industry.

The report titled "Still in the Dark: Tipped Wages in D.C.," which was released Wednesday, specifically highlights wage theft and tipped wage reporting, which is a requirement in the District, as the biggest issues.

Under the law, businesses are required to report tipped wages at least quarterly in D.C., but according to the report, only 11 percent of D.C. restaurants followed the law. The list of noncompliant restaurants included Clyde’s Restaurant Group and other eateries owned or operated by Chef Jose Andres.

So why does this matter?

According to the report, the noncompliance of the tip reporting law makes it nearly impossible for the government to know whether restaurant workers are getting paid the required minimum wage, raising "serious concerns about the level of wage theft that could be occurring in non-compliant restaurants."

The report is an initiative with D.C. Jobs with Justice and the Restaurant Opportunities Centers D.C. 

It reviewed a period between April 2021 and March 2022. According to Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, the report's data has never been publicized before.

In response to the report a spokesperson for the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington released the following statement to FOX 5:

The TWFAA requires in part that DOES (Department of Employment Services) set up a portal for payroll providers to digitally submit these reports. DOES continues to work on the portal even as payroll providers complain that they are unable to comply with the requirements set forth in the law. There is no mandate for paper filing and third party payroll providers are the ones required to do this, not restaurants themselves. This is a DOES failure, not the restaurant industry’s.

To read the full report click here.