The Latest: DC OKs change in minimum wage for tipped workers

Muriel Bowser
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on primary elections in Washington, D.C. (all times EDT):

9:28 p.m.

Washington, D.C., voters have approved a ballot initiative that will restructure the way restaurants and bars pay tipped employees.

With 90 percent of the vote reported Tuesday night, Initiative 77 had secured 55 percent.

The initiative will eliminate the “tipped minimum wage” — the two-tiered system under which restaurant and bar owners pay servers, bartenders and bussers a lower hourly wage with the expectation that they will be compensated with tips from customers.

Currently, these employees can make as little as $3.33 per hour. However, the employer is legally required to make up the difference if the employee’s salary plus tips add up to less than the current minimum wage of $12.50 per hour.

The ballot initiative would require employers to pay everyone at least the minimum wage.

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8:52 p.m.

Eleanor Holmes Norton, Washington’s non-voting delegate to the House of Representatives, has won the Democratic Party nomination as she seeks re-election.

Holmes Norton, 81, has served as Washington’s non-voting delegate since 1992. With the Democratic nomination in hand, the actual election in November is considered a formality in the District of Columbia, where the Republican Party holds little sway.

Also securing nominations are several incumbent members of the D.C. Council, including Chairman Phil Mendelson, Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen and At-Large Councilmember Anita Bonds. Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh ran unopposed.

Two more D.C. Council seats, as well as a controversial ballot initiative that would radically change the way restaurants and bars pay their tipped employees, remain undecided.

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8:47 p.m.

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser has secured the Democratic Party nomination as she seeks a second term in office.

Bowser campaigned on her record of leading the District through an economic turnaround. However, her administration has struggled in recent months to contain multiple scandals in the Washington public school system, including the revelation that chronic student absences were ignored or covered up in order to maintain high graduation rates.

Bowser, 45, a former member of the D.C. Council, defeated incumbent Mayor Vincent Gray in 2014.

The actual election in November is considered a formality in the District of Columbia, where the Republican Party holds little sway.

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