Bill proposed by congresswoman aiming to help restaurant workers in Metro Detroit receives pushback

‘It became clearer that too many of our workers are living paycheck to paycheck’

It’s a move to raise wages for restaurant workers and improve their working conditions and benefits.

However, the legislation proposed Monday (Dec. 19) by Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib is getting some pushback.

The pandemic did a number on so many businesses, but few industries were hit harder than the hospitality industry, with restaurant employees especially taking a big financial hit.

Tlaib says it’s time to change that.

“Even as our restaurant workers came back to work, as you all know, it became clearer that too many of our workers are living paycheck to paycheck, barely making ends meet,” said Tlaib.

Tlaib is fighting for the Restaurant Workers Bill of Rights, a comprehensive effort to improve wages, healthcare, and working conditions.

“We’re trying to push a requirement for paid family medical leave,” Tlaib said. “It’s super important for many of our restaurant workers. The right to healthcare and bodily autonomy, including ensuring that every American has access to quality and affordable healthcare.”

Those who work in the industry say it’s long overdue.

“Sometimes I feel like 24 hours are not enough,” said restaurant employee Lillian Travis. “Especially with the wages in the industry so low. I have to work multiple jobs to pay my bills. Trying to support myself and my two children and trying to feed us, I barely have enough time for myself and my children because I’m busy earning a living.”

However, some restaurant owners who themselves need help to keep up with the high cost of almost everything have said raising wages isn’t the answer.

Watch the video above for the full story.

About the Authors:

Hank Winchester is Local 4's Consumer Investigative Reporter and the head of WDIV's "Help Me Hank" Consumer Unit. He works to solve consumer complaints, reveal important recalls and track down thieves who have ripped off metro Detroiters.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.