Tiktoker Calls Out ‘Misleading’ Job Listing For Advertising $13 An Hour—When They Pay Barely Minimum Wage

A TikToker is calling out a barista job listing for Louisiana-based franchise PJ’s Coffee being “misleading” for advertising a pay of “$11.50 – $13.50 an hour” when it’s actually barely minimum wage plus tips factored in.

“I applied yesterday for a barista job,” says TikToker @zhanball in the clip, which was posted on Wednesday. “I love being a barista, it just does not pay well. So when I saw I would be making $13.50 at this barista job, I was like, I’ll go back to being a barista—$13.50 plus tips is an amazing rate for this area.”

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

In the United States, the federal minimum wage is just $7.25 an hour, although it can vary by state. That rate hasn’t changed in over a decade and is hardly a livable wage today. Some states have a minimum wage of $15 an hour, and even then, it’s not enough to cover expenses for a family relying on that as the single income.

According to the email of the job offer that was sent to her, the pay was clarified as: “Your hourly pay will be $7.50 / hr plus tipshare (generally $13.5-14.50 per hour once factored).”

“So you’re counting on half of your employee’s salary to come from the generosity of your customers,” she says. “You cannot say that is your pay rate when you are paying $7.50 and your customers are picking up the rest.”

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

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

“It is my opinion that tips/gratuity should NEVER be a factor for base pay. As an adage for a job well done, sure but not base pay,” commented another TikToker.

Other TikTokers shared similar experiences with job listings. “A pizza hut around me said they were paying $25 an hour plus tips for delivery drivers. They were completely lying to people even after they started,” one commenter said.

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

In the email, she wrote: “$7.50 per hour is nowhere near a living wage in any part of the country in this day and age.”

In the clip, the TikToker acknowledges that the hiring manager she met with “has no control over the pay rate” and is “probably getting underpaid too.”

“When your company starts you at minimum wage, every step of the ladder from there is gonna be an underpaid position,” the TikToker says in the clip. “When you start the bar at the literal fucking floor, it’s gonna take a long time to work your way up.”

Many commenters agreed. “Anyone who works full time should 100% be making a livable wage,” one user said.

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

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