What Isn't Funny To Amy Poehler? Unfair Pay For And Sexual Harassment Of Tipped Workers.

"Let's just stop under-serving the many people who serve us."

The #MeToo movement goes way beyond Hollywood and Amy Poehler, for one, is helping restaurant workers say Time's Up to sexual harassment and unfair pay

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The comedian took part in a One Fair Wage rally in New York City at the Rockefeller Foundation yesterday, February 20. Poehler joined forces with the organization to fight for better compensation for tipped workers as well as protection to ensure they have safe workplaces. Most importantly? She did this by telling her own personal story.

"It was my main means of income for over 10 years," Poehler said, recalling the job that kept her going when she was a struggling actress. "I was a White woman who had certain privileges allowed to me and I worked with very reasonable restaurant owners. But I did, like every woman in this room, deal with incredible amounts of harassment from customers and co-workers. It was a very routine way of life."

The former Parks and Recreation star implored New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to consider raising the minimum wage for those who rely on tips to make a living. Currently the law is that these employees can be paid less than the minimum wage as long as their tips make up the difference — but that's not enforced strongly enough. 

By raising this minimum wage to $13 per hour, One Fair Wage believes that tipped workers in the food service industry can be cut in half. And, given that about 70 percent of the workforce is female, it puts them on an unlevel playing field, especially when you factor in their vulnerability to sexual harassment in the workplace.

Saru Jayaraman, a restaurant worker-rights advocate who was Poehler's date to the Golden Globes, said that with women "at the mercy of a wildly fluctuating income," this gives men in the industry "incredible power over" them.

"Let's just stop under-serving the many people who serve us," Poehler said. "Everybody go to their local restaurant, worry less about the soup of the day, and ask them how fresh their wages are."

(H/T: amNY | New York Daily News | Eater)

Cover image via Mario Anzuoni / Reuters

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