After giving our 100% and sometimes even more, we expect the same in return. But most of the time we are disappointed. Just as mom-of-one Aaliyah Cortez from Austin, Texas, is disappointed seeing her biweekly paycheck. After working for 70 hours at the local sports bar, she just received $9.28.
She took to her TikTok account and shared a video explaining everything.
At the beginning of the clip, she shares the details of her paycheck, including how many hours she worked over the span of two weeks.
She said she gets paid $2.13 an hour as a bartender and server, and for this particular pay period, she had worked nearly 71 hours.
“I should have made $151,” she added.
However, after Social Security, Medicare, and federal income tax were taken out of her pay, she was left with $9.28.
She finished the video by saying, “This is why you tip.”
The single mom explained that she shared the video to show how the service industry operates.
“There are laws set up that allow tipped employees to be paid under the federal minimum wage, which makes us rely on the customer to pay our wages,” she told Buzzfeed.
“It’s not right that we have to do this, but I wanted to shed some light on the issue and inform the public about the importance of tipping.”
Restaurants are able to get away with paying servers and bartenders a few dollars by relying on customer tips to top up their paychecks.
“If I had a good two weeks from my tips, my check will be on the lower side,” Cortez explained. “At my last restaurant, my checks would come out to be $0.”
The system creates uncertainty for servers.
At the end of the day, Cortez said she enjoys her job and is grateful she can make money from tips.
“I just wish we were all being paid adequately and consistently,” she said. “As you can see — by my check — I cannot afford to live off of $2.13 an hour, so I solely rely on the generosity of my customers.”
Cortez’s video was later shared on Twitter by user @sxbvna where it ignited a pretty heated conversation over the matter of tipping.
Some unsympathetic users said Cortez shouldn’t have agreed to work a job with such a low hourly wage.
I’m sorry but if you’re taking a job that pays u 2 dollars in big America it’s your own 🤷🏾♂️
— 🏆🏆 (@Blaiv_) February 11, 2020
However, others came to Cortez’s defense and insisted it’s the industry’s fault, not her own, for such a low wage.
these replies are exactly the problem.
y'all love blaming minimum wage workers instead of the REAL PROBLEM ⚠️
— matt (@bieberfluid) February 11, 2020
Then there were those who pointed out that Cortez’s paycheck showed she made over $700 in tips during that pay period.
She made $708 in tips, while I’m saying that ya $2.13 is unbelievably low, I live in CA make $14 p/h as a Veterinary assistant and she still makes more than me in tips than I do in 2 weeks as a part time worker my check is about 500-600 at the most after everything is taken out pic.twitter.com/UAhcwjgReT
— Simp 2.0 (@Spikes234) February 11, 2020
Cortez, however, was quick to defend herself in the comments against those individuals.
you can see it though right? and I even mentioned I made tips so obviously someone is going to look for how much I made, which the whole world can see so your argument is not valid. if I wanted to hide it, I could’ve
— aaliyah🌻 (@abronte_) February 12, 2020