Restaurant Opportunities Centers United

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Restaurant Opportunities Centers United is an organization created by labor unions which evaluates wages and working conditions in restaurants.

Goals

Quoted from Restaurant Opportunities Centers United's 2013 ROC National Diners’ Guide which evaluates restaurants with respect to wages and working conditions:[1]

  1. RAISE THE FEDERAL MINIMUM WAGE FOR TIPPED WORKERS AND NON-TIPPED WORKERS. Since 1991, the federal minimum wage for tipped workers has been frozen at $2.13 an hour. For non-tipped workers, the minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. The median wage for restaurant workers is $8.90 an hour, just below the poverty line for a family of three. ROC applauds Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Congressmember George Miller (D-CA) for proposing The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2012, which would raise the minimum wage for tipped workers from its current rate of $2.13 an hour by 85 cents each year until the tipped minimum wage reaches 70% of the regular minimum wage (70% of the current minimum wage would be about $5, representing a more than 100% wage increase for tipped workers). The legislation would also increase the minimum wage for all workers from $7.25 to $9.80.
  2. WIN PAID SICK LEAVE. Over 90% of the more than 4,300 restaurant workers we have surveyed report not having paid sick leave. More shockingly, two-thirds of those surveyed report to work and prepare, cook, and serve food while sick. ROC is working with a large coalition of organizations to pass the Healthy Families Act. Introduced by Congressmember Rosa DeLauro, the bill would provide up to 7 days of earned sick leave per year.
  3. ELIMINATE OCCUPATIONAL SEGREGATION. People of color, women, and immigrants largely occupy lower-paying positions in restaurants. Of the more than 4,300 restaurant workers ROC has surveyed nationally, we found a $4 wage gap between white workers and workers of color, and 73% reported not receiving regular promotions on the job. To combat these issues, ROC supports workers in campaigns against discrimination. Over the last ten years, ROC has won 13 campaigns, obtaining over $7 million in unpaid wages and winning significant policy changes in large restaurant companies. The policy changes we have won include internal promotions policies that allow workers of color and women to advance to livable wage positions in the industry.

ROC National Diners’ Guide

The 2013 ROC National Diners’ Guide rates restaurants by stars granted for points. Quoted from Restaurant Opportunities Centers United's 2013 ROC National Diners’ Guide which evaluates restaurants with respect to wages and working conditions:[2] A point may be granted for:

  1. Participation in the Restaurant Industry Roundtable: A restaurant that belongs to one of ROC's Restaurant Industry Roundtable - a group of employers working to promote the high road to profitability in the industry.
  2. $5 Tipped worker wages: ROC argues that a minimum wage of less than $5, or 70% of the regular minimum wage, for a worker who earns tips is not sustainable. A restaurant receives a point if their lowest paid tipped worker earns $5 an hour anywhere in the United States. Tipped workers include servers, runners, bussers, bartenders, barbacks, and expeditors.
  3. $9 Non-tipped worker wages: A restaurant receives a point if non-tipped workers earn at least $9 an hour. Non-tipped workers include host/hostess, dishwashers, prep cooks, line cooks, and porters. There are a few cities with higher wages such as San Francisco.
  4. PAID SICK DAYS: A restaurant receives a point if it provides paid sick days to its part-time and full-time employees.
  5. ADVANCEMENT: A restaurant receives a point if 50% of its current employees have been promoted internally. N/A is used if the restaurant has been open for less than two years.

Notes

External links and further reading