Precarious work is concentrated in the service industry in the United States and is a risk factor for poor mental health. Service occupations in which workers receive tips are
potentially more precarious due to unstable schedule, income, and lack of benefits. Tipped workers, primarily women of reproductive-age, can be paid a “subminimum wage” that is 71% lower than the federal minimum wage, contributing to their economic hardship. Despite abundant research linking poverty to poor mental health, the effects of wage-related policies on mental health in women are unknown. This dissertation investigated the potential consequences of tipped service work for reproductive-aged women as well as one potential policy intervention: increasing the subminimum wage.