Two nursing home workers say they are earning more than $20 per hour at the facility, and they are struggling to make ends meet.
“I just started my job last week and I’m working from home,” says Tiana Tinsley, who works at the Woodstock Nursing Home in Florida.
“I’m in a really good place now, but I’m getting to the point where I’m just trying to live off the money.”
Tinsley is one of thousands of Americans making more than the federal minimum wage, which stands at $7.25 per hour.
The minimum wage for tipped workers has not been raised in more than 20 years, and many employers have raised their own minimum wage as well.
“There are two types of workers in this country,” said Andrew Stern, the chief economist for the National Employment Law Project.
“They’re tipped workers and hourly workers, and there are some tips that are paid at the tip.”
Most Americans receive tips at the table, according to the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank.
Tinsleys paychecks are usually deposited into a bank account and can be withdrawn later.
She said she’s trying to cut back on spending because she’s not sure she can afford to pay for her bills.
“Right now I’m really struggling, and I just want to be able to help my family,” she said.
Touts work at some nursing homes, but they are not the same as tipped workers.
Tinsleys are paid a minimum wage of $11.20 anhour, or $8.50 an hour, and workers in other positions who make tips earn even less.
“The difference between a full-time employee and a tipped employee is not a significant one,” Stern said.
“In fact, if you had a full time worker and a tip employee, that employee would make much less than the tipped employee.
But they do have the same hourly wage, so if you were a tipped worker, you would be making much less.”
Tits are a tip and a percentage of the wages of other employees.
Some tips are made by the customer, such as cleaning services.
But most are made as part of a contract with the employer.
“A contract can include a set amount of money that the employee is supposed to make a certain percentage of, and the employee may not make more than that,” said Kevin Smith, the director of labor and employment studies at the National Association of Social Workers.
Tinasays salary is about $9.70 an hour.
She told Recode that she was earning a little over $12 an hour after tips.
She said she started working at the nursing home about six months ago, but is not paid for her work because she has been fired from her job.
“We got a contract that was set up for me to make $12 per hour and the amount was $18 an hour,” she told Recio.
“So I guess I was making less than that.”
Touts job is not her first.
She has worked at a hospital and as a babysitter.
She says she makes $11 an hour but is trying to keep her paycheck high to support her family.
“My goal is to pay the bills,” she added.
“So I need a paycheck, but my goal is that it doesn’t take me a month to get paid.”