Austin mother Aaliyah Cortez has been a server and bartender at a local sports bar for a little over a year.
After constantly receiving paychecks that ranged between $4 and $11 for 70-plus hours of work, Aaliyah decided to create a TikTok video to explain the importance of tipping:
In the video, Aaliyah shows a recent paycheck indicating that she worked 70.80 hours...
...and — after having Social Security, Medicare, and federal income tax taken out — only made $9.28:
BuzzFeed spoke with Aaliyah, who said that she gets paid $2.13 an hour, plus tips. She decided to share the video to show how the service industry operates. "There are laws set up that allow tipped employees to be paid under the federal minimum wage, which makes us rely on the customer to pay our wages."
Aaliyah, however, did say that she likes her job and is fortunate to make money from tips. "I just wish we were all being paid adequately and consistently. As you can see — by my check — I cannot afford to live off of $2.13 an hour, so I solely rely on the generosity of my customers."