Teenage Girl Asks For Equal Pay As Male Friend At Job, Gets Fired

A Kansas teenager discovered that her male friend was hired at the same job she was and was making a higher wage, which caused the 17-year-old to ask her boss about receiving an equal amount. Instead, the teen, who was excited about being hired at Pizza Studio, was fired.

Jensen Walcott was hired by the restaurant in Kansas City for $8 an hour and was happy to have been hired on, especially after discovering her good friend Jake Reed, also 17, had been hired by Pizza Studio as well. The friends were both hired at the same age and with the same amount of experience and for the same position, yet Reed was offered $8.25 an hour.

Walcott assumed it must have been a mistake on the part of her employer, so she picked up the phone and called her boss. The teen was put on hold and expected that the “error” would be fixed when the manager returned to the phone. This was not the case.

Seventeen Magazine shares the teen’s account of the interaction.

“I was like maybe when I’m on hold right now, she will just offer me $8.25 and everything is gonna be good but… she didn’t do that. “

The manager returned to the phone and told Walcott she was fired for discussing wages, as this was reportedly against company policy. Following her conversation with Jensen, the manager then called Jake and fired him as well. Jake noted the swiftness with which it all happened.

“She said you’re fired. Basically just like a 10 second phone call.”

When asked as to whether they were told about the policy that apparently indicates that discussion wages is not permitted, both Jake and Jensen share that they were never made aware of this.

David White, an attorney who spoke with WDAF, shared that the National Labor Relations Board states that it’s in no way against any policy to discuss wages. White then shared that Jensen could retaliate against the extreme and illogical dismissal in court.

The publication notes the words of White.

“At face value it appears, that the young lady was terminated because she complained about unequal wages. That’s illegal. Probably what happened – they’re teenagers. They didn’t think they’d complain.”

Walcott is not sure as to whether or not she will take any further action. The teen is simply focused on determining why she would be offered a quarter less than her male friend for the exact same position when she has the exact same amount of experience.

“They should definitely be ashamed of themselves,” Jensen said.

Although a quarter on the hour seems like a petty argument or complaint to make, it’s certainly not over any given number of hours and shifts in a week, multiplied over months and years. It would add up to huge gap in pay between the two for doing the same work.

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research shares that this gap has been an ongoing occurrence in many work places with nearly a 21 percent wage gap reported in 2014 between male and female employees taking on the same role in a given field or industry. Seventeen elaborated on the disservice that is done to millions of women, who work as hard or harder than male counterparts for less pay.

“Equal pay is a huge issue that affects millions of Americans. You work hard for your money – just as hard (or even harder!) than your male counterparts do. You deserve to be rewarded just the same.”

This issue has been one that has been brought even more to the forefront in recent years, especially since the gender gap in pay even between A-list film stars in Hollywood was made known. The gap impacts all levels of society.

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