A US bartender has stunned the world after sharing a video of a recent pay cheque which revealed she was paid a shocking amount for a fortnight of work.

Aaliyah Cortez, from Austin, Texas, shared the video on the social media platform TikTok late last month.

It showed she had worked a total of 70.8 hours over a two-week period – but that her take-home pay was just US$9.28 (NZ$14.4).

"So this is why you should always tip your bartenders, servers, anyone who waits on you or provides a service for you, because this is my hourly for two weeks," the audibly frustrated young mum said in the video.

Photo / TikTok / Aaliyah Cortez
Photo / TikTok / Aaliyah Cortez

"I worked almost 71 hours, I get paid US$2.13 (NZ$3.30) an hour as a bartender and a server, I should have made $US150.81 (NZ$233) but because I have to have social security, Medicare and the income tax taken out, I was paid $US9.28 (NZ$14.4) for 70 hours of work.

"Of course I got tips, but this is what I got for my hourly – this is why you tip."

The video attracted tens of thousands of likes and comments, with many social media users left appalled by her meagre wage, which was variously described as "scary" and "ridiculous".

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In an interview with BuzzFeed, Cortez said she loved her sports bar job, but she wanted to call out the service industry and raise awareness of the importance of tipping.

"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," she told the publication.

"It's not right that we have to do this, but I wanted to shed some light on the issue and inform the public about the importance of tipping.

"I just wish we were all being paid adequately and consistently."

In the US, the official minimum wage is US$7.25 per hour.


However, an employer of a tipped worker is only required to pay US$2.13 per hour in direct wages if that amount combined with the tips received at least equals the federal minimum wage, the US Department of Labor website claims.

A staffer is deemed to be a "tipped employee" if they work in an industry where they "customarily and regularly" receive more than US$30 per month in tips.