Before she became a “Saturday Night Live” alum with a bunch of funny films under her belt, Amy Poehler was a waitress juggling low wages and tiny tips.
The “Parks and Recreation” star will share her experience with workers, lawmakers and supporters Tuesday at a rally for the One Fair Wage campaign to establish better pay for the food service industry.
Last month, Poehler, as part of the Time’s Up sexual harassment awareness campaign, brought Saru Jayaraman as her plus-one to the Golden Globes to highlight Jayaraman’s work at the UC Berkeley’s Food Labor Research Center.
The center’s work has focused on showing how waitresses making low wages, and relying on tips, are often victims of harassment from customers and employers.
“I wasn’t born at the Golden Globes,” Poehler told the Daily News.
“I used to be a waitress for 15 years before I made any money as an actor. The restaurant industry is one that everybody relates to. They have either worked there or gone to a restaurant.
“A lot of people have come through the industry.”
Jayaraman will join Poehler once again at the 11 a.m. rally inside the Rockefeller Foundation at 420 Fifth Ave. at 38th St.
With nearly 13 million employees, the restaurant industry is the single-largest source of sexual harassment charges filed by women with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), with a rate twice that of the general female workforce, according to government reports.
According to the EEOC, 162,872 employment harassment charges were filed between 2010 and 2016, with employers paying out $698.7 million in penalties.
About 70% of restaurant servers are women.
Relying on tips to make a living wage forces workers to tolerate sexual harassment from customers in return for “gratuities,” and they often receive additional pressure from management to dress in a revealing way to attract larger tips.
According to a 2014 study conducted by the Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York, the lead organizer of the One Fair Wage campaign, women dependent on tips are twice as likely to experience sexual harassment than women who aren’t.