White Restaurant Workers Make $4 More Per Hour Than Minorities

A new report details the many abuses of America's restaurant employees. That includes racist hiring.

Though the restaurant industry isn't tremendously lucrative for most of its employees, that reality holds especially true for minorities, who on average make $4 an hour less than their white counterparts. That's according to a new report from the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of restaurant workers.

Called "Behind the Kitchen Door," the report says the best jobs in restaurants are generally given to white workers. It also details a national epidemic of workplace abuses not specific to just people of color. The average restaurant worker, for instance, earns only $15,000 a year, and 90 percent of them don't have health insurance. Exacerbating that is that 80 percent of restaurant employees aren't afforded sick days, meaning that more than half have come to work ill.

The study, which includes information from restaurants in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and others, was released to coincide with Congresswoman Donna Edwards' reintroduction of the WAGES Act, which seeks to raise the minimum wage for tipped workers to 70 percent of the national standard. Currently, the minimum wage for tipped employees is a paltry $2.13 an hour.

photo (cc) via Flickr user quinn.anya