Mom shares video of $9 paycheck after working over 70 hours to make a point about the service industry

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By VT

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Shining a spotlight on the critical importance of tipping, Texas mom Aaliyah Cortez took to TikTok to share an enlightening video featuring her paycheck, which totaled just $9 for over 70 hours of labor.

Having worked as a server and bartender at a local sports bar for more than a year, Aaliyah is all too familiar with the struggles of a parent trying to make ends meet in the service industry and seeks to increase public awareness about this reality.

Determined to raise attention of the harsh financial realities of her profession, Aaliyah shared a snapshot of her paycheck, which displayed earnings between $4 and $11 for a staggering 70-hour workweek.

In her TikTok video, she presents a paycheck that - post-deductions for social security, medicare, and federal income tax - amounted to a mere $9.28. Aaliyah earns a base hourly rate of $2.13, supplemented by customer tips.

Speaking to the BuzzFeed, Aaliyah explained, "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 added, "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. If I had a good two weeks from tips my check will be on the lower side. At my last restaurant, my checks would come out to be $0."

Emphasizing the critical issue of inconsistent and insufficient wages in the service industry, she concluded, "I just wish we were all being paid adequately and consistently. 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."

The response to the video was a mixed bag, with many arguing that tips should not be a given.

"I personally tip my servers 20% or more but it’s a tip not something that should be expected. Do not be a server if you don’t like the pay," wrote one.

Agreeing with the first commenter, another said: "Tips are optional always have been always will be. The whole if you can't tip don't eat out thing is point less we pay our bill that’s it."

However, one person who sided with Aaliyah chimed in to write: "I work 20 years in the restaurant industry and only thing the counts is the TIPS and people who never work in a restaurant should not say anything. [sic]"

size-full wp-image-1263220573
Credit: TikTok
size-full wp-image-1263220574
Credit: TikTok
size-full wp-image-1263220577
Credit: TikTok
Featured image credit: Burak The Weekender / Pexels

Mom shares video of $9 paycheck after working over 70 hours to make a point about the service industry

vt-author-image

By VT

Article saved!Article saved!

Shining a spotlight on the critical importance of tipping, Texas mom Aaliyah Cortez took to TikTok to share an enlightening video featuring her paycheck, which totaled just $9 for over 70 hours of labor.

Having worked as a server and bartender at a local sports bar for more than a year, Aaliyah is all too familiar with the struggles of a parent trying to make ends meet in the service industry and seeks to increase public awareness about this reality.

Determined to raise attention of the harsh financial realities of her profession, Aaliyah shared a snapshot of her paycheck, which displayed earnings between $4 and $11 for a staggering 70-hour workweek.

In her TikTok video, she presents a paycheck that - post-deductions for social security, medicare, and federal income tax - amounted to a mere $9.28. Aaliyah earns a base hourly rate of $2.13, supplemented by customer tips.

Speaking to the BuzzFeed, Aaliyah explained, "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 added, "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. If I had a good two weeks from tips my check will be on the lower side. At my last restaurant, my checks would come out to be $0."

Emphasizing the critical issue of inconsistent and insufficient wages in the service industry, she concluded, "I just wish we were all being paid adequately and consistently. 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."

The response to the video was a mixed bag, with many arguing that tips should not be a given.

"I personally tip my servers 20% or more but it’s a tip not something that should be expected. Do not be a server if you don’t like the pay," wrote one.

Agreeing with the first commenter, another said: "Tips are optional always have been always will be. The whole if you can't tip don't eat out thing is point less we pay our bill that’s it."

However, one person who sided with Aaliyah chimed in to write: "I work 20 years in the restaurant industry and only thing the counts is the TIPS and people who never work in a restaurant should not say anything. [sic]"

size-full wp-image-1263220573
Credit: TikTok
size-full wp-image-1263220574
Credit: TikTok
size-full wp-image-1263220577
Credit: TikTok
Featured image credit: Burak The Weekender / Pexels