Texas Mum Explains How She Earned $9.28 After Working 70 Hours As Bartender

by : Julia Banim on : 14 Feb 2020 10:20
Texas Mum Explains How She Earned $9.28 After Working 70 Hours As BartenderTexas Mum Explains How She Earned $9.28 After Working 70 Hours As Bartenderf.aa.ded/TikTok

A mother from Texas recently revealed she earned just $9.28 after working 70 hours as a bartender.


After her post went viral online, 20-year-old Aaliyah Cortez has now explained how it came about. Aaliyah says she enjoys her work as a bartender and server at an Austin based sports bar. However, as a tipped worker, her employers only have to pay her $2.13 an hour under federal law.

Aaliyah is therefore forced to supplement the rest of her wages in tips, with income tax, Social Security, and Medicare all deducted based on the tips she receives. For a two-week period in January, Aaliyah brought home a shockingly low $9.28, for 70.80 hours worth of work.

Aaliyah CortezAaliyah CortezAaliyah Cortez/Twitter

Taking to TikTok, the hardworking mother of one revealed her recent paycheck, saying: ‘This is why you should always tip your bartenders, servers, anyone who waits on you’.


Many people have sympathised with her, which has opened up a much needed discussion about low wages in the US service industry.

According to the US Department of Labour, the state minimum cash wage payment for tipped employees in Texas is the same as that which is required under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act ($2.13 per hour).

Therefore, workers often have to rely on the generosity of customers to make ends meet, all while contending with the skyrocketing costs of living within booming cities such as Austin.

Waitress payheckWaitress payheckf.aa.ded/TikTok

Speaking to Bored Panda, Aaliyah opened up about the realities of being a young mum working in the service industry:

It’s tough being a working mom for me right now just because I’m going through a custody battle. I would love to spend time with my son, but I have to make a living so we can have a good life once the custody battle comes to an end.

Honestly, every time I open a check I just chuckle a little bit. My coworkers and I will compare checks to see who got the least amount and we’ll just laugh because it’s ridiculous how little we get paid.

I would just like to add that I love my job and I’m fortunate enough to make enough to get by, but it’s tough to think that if an emergency comes up it could really hurt me financially. I just wish we all had stable and consistent paychecks.

Counting Money With CalculatorCounting Money With CalculatorPexels

Aaliyah added:

It’s important to tip because we literally rely solely on those tips. We’ll be greatly appreciative and it’s just nice to be compassionate and understanding that this is just how laws are set up, and if you’re going to restaurants that do abide by these laws, you are feeding into the broken system.

We don’t like relying on the customer but until the laws can get changed, we still need to be paid. Whatever you do, Don’t. Forget. To tip.

According to figures from the US Bureau of Statistics, the employment of bartenders is projected to grow 8% between the years 2018 to 2028, faster than the average rate for American occupations.

Job prospects in this industry are anticipated to be very good due to the need to replace workers who leave the occupation. However, despite making up a significant portion of the American workforce, bar workers are often still underpaid and undervalued.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Life, Aaliyah Cortez, Austin, Money, salary, Texas, tiktok, Wages, Waitress


Bored Panda and 3 others
  1. Bored Panda

    Mom Shares A TikTok Of Her $9.28 Paycheck After Working For 70 Hours As A Waitress

  2. TikTok/f.aa.ded


  3. US Department of Labour

    Minimum Wages for Tipped Employees

  4. US Bureau of Statistics