BUSINESS
09/22/2014 07:37 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Most Americans Admit They Don't Tip Hotel Housekeepers

A lot of Americans don't tip hotel housekeeping staff, and many have no idea that they should, a new HuffPost/YouGov poll shows.

The survey was conducted after Marriott announced it would be participating in a campaign to leave envelopes in hotel rooms encouraging patrons to leave tips for the staff members who clean their rooms. The move angered many Marriott customers, who flooded the company's official Facebook page with comments accusing the company of being cheap and shifting the burden of paying employees onto customers.

According to the new poll, only 46 percent of Americans say they usually tip hotel housekeepers. Another 23 percent said they've never been in the situation to do so.

On one hand, the 46 percent who say they tip housekeepers is more than those who say they don't tip housekeepers (32 percent). On the other hand, it's far fewer than say they tip many other types of workers, including waiters (95 percent), hairstylists or barbers (81 percent), bellhops (56 percent) and taxi drivers (53 percent). Forty-eight percent said they typically tip parking attendants. The 32 percent of people who said they don't usually tip hotel housekeeping staff was double the percentage of people who don't tip other types of worker.

Unlike some of those types of employees, hotel housekeepers make at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, compared to only $2.13 an hour for employees classified as tipped employees under federal minimum wage law, such as waiters and waitresses.

But payroll data maintained by salary research site PayScale indicates that Marriott housekeepers are among the lowest-paid workers at the company.

The Emily Post Institute recommends tipping housekeeping staff $2-5 a day. Many Americans don't realize that, though. The 32 percent who said they don't usually tip housekeeping staff includes 20 percent who said they didn't think they were expected to tip. Another 3 percent said they don't think housekeeping staff deserve tips, 2 percent said they are opposed to tipping in general and 1 percent said they just forget to do it. Another 4 percent cited other reasons.

The HuffPost/YouGov poll was conducted Sept. 17-18 among 1,000 U.S. adults using a sample selected from YouGov's opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population. Factors considered include age, race, gender, education, employment, income, marital status, number of children, voter registration, time and location of Internet access, interest in politics, religion and church attendance.

The Huffington Post has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov's nationally representative opinion polling. Data from all HuffPost/YouGov polls can be found here.

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