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“Misleading” job ad advertises $13 an hour – but pays minimum wage

A TikToker calls a barista job ad for Louisiana-based franchise PJ’s Coffee “misleading” because it advertises pay of “$11.50 to $13.50 an hour,” even though it’s in In reality, it is hardly minimum wage plus tips.

“I applied for a barista job yesterday,” says TikToker @zhanball in the clip posted Wednesday. “I love being a barista, it just doesn’t pay well. When I saw that this barista job would make me $13.50 I thought I’d be a barista again – $13.50 plus tip is an amazing price for this area.”

@zhanball $7.50 is nowhere near a living wage #workreform #unionizing #jobs #workingclass ♬ Crazy – Patsy Cline

The TikToker goes on to say she went in for an hour-long interview. “Not until the end of the interview and when she sent me the offer for the job,” she says. “Turns out they pay $7.50 an hour, but after you factor in tips, you’re making about $13.50 an hour.”

In the United States, the federal minimum wage is only $7.25 an hour, although it can vary by state. This sentence has not changed for over a decade and is hardly a living wage today. Some states have a minimum wage of $15 an hour, and even then it’s not enough to defray the expenses of a family that relies on it for sole income.

According to the job offer email that was sent to her, the pay was clarified as follows: “Her hourly wage is $7.50/hr plus tips (generally $13.5-14.50 per hour once factored in) .”

“So you’re counting on half your employees’ salary coming from the generosity of your customers,” she says. “You can’t say that’s your pay rate when you pay $7.50 and your customers pick up the rest.”

The creator says she didn’t take the job. “Needless to say, not only did I decline the offer, but I sent them a very informative email that will hopefully get them to reevaluate their pay rate but change this job ad,” she says.

At the time of publication, TikTok has over 200,000 views. Some commenters said the job ad’s misleading information “sounds illegal.”

“In my opinion, tips should NEVER be a factor in base pay. As a saying for a job well done, sure, but not a base salary,” commented another TikToker.

Other TikTokers shared similar experiences with job offers. “A pizza place near me said they paid $25 an hour plus tips for delivery drivers. They completely lied to people even after they started,” said one commenter.

In a second TikTok, @zhanball shares a screenshot of the email she sent to the hiring manager, calling the starting pay “misleading.”

@zhanball Replies to @sjplife #greenscreen and to my surprise I didn’t get any reply lol #workreform #jobs ♬ Original sound – Anakin’s left hand

In the email, she wrote, “$7.50 an hour is nowhere near a living wage in any part of the country these days.”

In the clip, the TikToker concedes that the hiring manager she met with “has no control over the pay rate” and is “likely underpaid as well.”

“If your company starts you on minimum wage, every step up the ladder from there will be an underpaid position,” the TikToker says in the clip. “If you literally start the bar on the damn floor, it’s going to take a long time to work your way up.”

Many commenters agreed. “Anyone who works full-time should be paid 100% decent wages,” said one user.

“People will blame customers for NOT tipping well enough when it’s the greedy employers who are starving their employees,” argued another viewer.

The Daily Dot reached out to @zhanball for comment via TikTok comment and PJ’s Coffee via email.


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*Initial publication: May 5, 2022 4:52 pm CDT

Kathleen Wang

Kathleen is a Honolulu-based freelance writer, editor, and communications strategist published by The New York Times, Vice, Huffington Post, Hana Hou! and others was published. She has worked in the communications departments of the Honolulu Museum of Art, the ACLU of Hawaii, and the Hawaii Community Foundation. When she’s not writing, you can find her in the ocean, walking her rescue poi dog, or painting oil paintings.

Kathleen Wang

https://www.dailydot.com/irl/minimum-wage-misleading-barista/ “Misleading” job ad advertises $13 an hour – but pays minimum wage

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