Is tipping the right thing to do, or does it perpetuate an unethical system of low wages for certain jobs?
Eagles running back LeSean McCoy faced major scrutiny when he left a 20-cent tip at a Philadelphia restaurant last week. PYT Restaurant owner Tommy Up posted a photo of McCoy's receipt on Facebook, which went viral and is currently for sale on Ebay. The infamous receipt is being offered on the auction site at the bid of nearly $100,000, approximately 500,000-times McCoy's tip amount.
"While you have no legal obligation to tip, you have a moral obligation to tip," says Randy Cohen, former writer of The New York Times' "The Ethicist" column.
Tipping used to be a kind, unexpected gesture to thank someone who is traditionally underpaid and could use extra money in exchange for their hard work and service with a smile. In many ways, that's still the case—as the paychecks for service workers still reflect. But now automatic gratuities and enforced service fees have changed the generous gesture to an expected practice.