Actress and comedienne Amy Poehler has stepped up to support U.S. restaurant servers who are fighting for fair pay.
The Parks and Recreation star spent over a decade working as a waitress before catching her big break in Hollywood and the 46-year-old has now joined the One Fair Wage campaign in a bid to improve work conditions and increase compensation for food service industry employees.
Amy noted she regularly suffered abuse while serving food to rude customers, while offering her support for the effort at the One Fair Wage event in New York City on Tuesday (20Feb18).
"When I was a struggling actress I waited tables in New York," she said during her speech, according to the New York Daily News. “It (waitressing) was my main means of income for over 10 years.
"I was a white woman who had certain privileges allowed to me and I worked with very reasonable restaurant owners. But I did, like every woman in this room, deal with incredible amounts of harassment from customers and co-workers. It was a very routine way of life.”
American food service industry workers can earn as little as $2 per hour due to legalities surrounding tip-oriented jobs and Amy is campaigning for a base minimum salary for those who do not earn enough tips to make ends meet during their shifts. She is also urging lawmakers to step in to do more to prevent sexual harassment and abuse against servers.
“Because we (servers) rely on tips, we have to please our customers, our managers,” she noted. “We have to please our chefs. And all of these expectations to please puts women in very vulnerable positions that often lead to exploitation."
“Let’s just stop under-serving the many people who serve us,” the Sisters star added. “I stand with the workers of One Fair Wage."