Opinion: Idaho wage laws unfair
Lately I’ve been lending an ear to a dear friend of mine who is having some troubles at her job. From the stories she has told me, her main issues don’t concern things such as hazardous conditions or harsh hours, but instead, her issue is with the rate of pay she is receiving.
According to Idaho’s labor laws title 15, section 3, an employer may pay an employee $4.25 an hour for a 90 day period if he or she is under the age of 20. Currently she has been employed under these conditions.
Now I have heard of more than one business doing this, but the more I think about it, the more I seem to feel that this law is indeed, unfair.
Let’s start with start with the basics.
The definition for the word minimum, according to Google, is: “the least or smallest amount or quantity possible, attainable, or required.” Idaho’s minimum wage is $7.65 an hour.
If this is true, then no employee above the legal working age of 16 should receive any less than the state’s minimum wage. Isn’t $4.25 lower than $7.65?
This creates conflict, and in my opinion, this law is completely unjustifiable.
Having the ability to employ a person under these laws gives the employer the ability to take advantage of younger employees and in return, they get their required work done, costing them close to nothing.
My friend was hired a week before the businesses busiest weekend of the year under these provisions. She was forced to work 9 hour days, without tips, receiving lower than minimum wage.
It’s so easy for an employer to do this. If they want to, they could even let go of the employee before the 90 days is up. This kind of action is completely criminal.
Even adults between the ages of 18 and 20 are affected by this law, and they are not even minors. All workers should have the right to be paid the state’s minimum wage no matter what job it is or what kind of requirements there are in the training period.
An employee deserves to get fair pay for the time he or she spends at their job, whether it’s their first week or their last. If an employee gets anything less than the state’s minimum wage, it should be considered criminal.
A 16 year old that has the same tasks as an adult over 20 deserves the same rights, and they deserve fair pay for their time.
I know this may be a law, but just because something is a law it doesn’t necessarily mean it is right.
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