By the time Yolanda de Jesus gets home each night, dinner is long over and her daughter is often asleep. She and her husband have fought over her long hours, and both worry she is missing her daughter’s childhood.
De Jesus works in a nail salon in Manhattan, and because her hourly wage is so low, she frequently works between 10 and 12 hours a day. As a tipped worker, she legally makes below minimum wage, and must rely on customers’ tips – which are few and far between – to help support her family.
“No one knows that we depend on tips,” de Jesus says. “The majority of our clients don’t know we depend on the tips they give us. We never know if we’re going to have enough to cover our basic needs.”