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I was offered a summer job at $9.50 an hour. However, when I got my first paycheck, I was only paid $8.50. I don’t have anything in writing stating that I was to be paid $9.50. What can I do?
A dollar an hour can make a big difference in a teen’s budget. So, it’s understandable that you are concerned. However, with nothing in writing, your options are limited.
There is a federal minimum wage and many states have a state minimum wage. Your employer must pay you at least the higher of the two. So, if $8.50 is higher than the federal minimum wage (currently $7.25/hour) and your state minimum wage, then your employer is within the law.
If you find your state minimum wage is higher than $8.50 per hour, then contact your state’s labor department for assistance. To find out your state’s minimum wage, visit this website: www.dol.gov/esa/minwage/america.htm
If you are being paid at or above both the federal and state minimum wage, consider setting up an appointment with your boss to discuss the misunderstanding. There might be some way you can come to an agreement on your wages.
Even if you can’t work something out with your boss, at least you will know for the next time you have a job offer that you need to get the terms in writing.
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