Bartender Aaliyah Cortez posted a TikTok video of $9.28 paycheck to highlight the importance of tipping

A TikTok video of a Texan bartender went viral in which she is seen showing her $9.28 paycheck in order to raise awareness of the service industry’s low wages and about the importance of tipping.

Last month, Aaliyah Cortez, who works at a sports bar, posted a TikTok video in which she can be seen saying: “So this is why you should always tip your bartenders and servers, anyone who waits on you or provides a service for you,”

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Cortez, who is also a mother, works more than 70 hours but her take-home paycheck is even less than $10 after federal taxes, Social Security and Medicare.

While pointing out that she gets only $2.13 an hour, Cortez said, “Of course, I got tips, but this is what I got for my hourly. This is why you tip.”

In many states, like Texas, North Carolina, Georgia and Alabama service industry employers pay their employees a minimum wage of $2.13 an hour under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, as long as their cash tips add up to the federal hourly minimum wage of $7.25.

Cortez said, “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. 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.”

She said that she likes her job and is fortunate for the tips she makes, but at the same time she wished all service industry workers were paid “adequately and consistently.” Cortez 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.”

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