Teens face lower wages - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Teens face lower wages

Albany- Senate Bill 92 would allow employers to pay anyone under the age of 20, $4.25 an hour for the first 90 days of employment. That's 90 cents lower than the minimum wage in Georgia and it's called a training wage.

To know how to work a cash register, takes time and training. Training the state is considering paying teenagers, a lower rate to do. The effort is not sitting too well with some teens.

"It's not fair, we shouldn't get lesser money and there's other teenagers across the country everywhere else and they're making minimum wages, that's not right," said 15 year old Chyterria Daniels.

But a training wage is encouraging to some, like Frank Brown manager at Maryland Fried Chicken. He says, it will help weed out bad employees.

"Sometimes you get some and they get in there and they just don't want to be there, you know they say I thought I wanted this, but I don't know, and so you really could save some money," said Brown.

It could also provide more teens with a job because, managers could hire more kids at the lower rate. Eighteen year old Jacqueline Davis says she understands why new employees might be hired at a cheaper rate.

"It takes at least about a month to really you know and understand what you're doing so, how to deal with customers with the right attitude," said Davis.

She's worked at the fast food restaurant for several years, but says if she took another job she would be willing to start at a cheaper wage.

"I would understand, because I know I have to learn first, so I would understand," said Davis. Brown says, the proposal would help businesses like fast food restaurants who employ a lot of teens.

"That's just the way it is now because of insurance and such, you don't have any other place for them to go," said Brown.

While the proposal is still under consideration, teens say, they want to make equal money for equal work and they want the state to consider their needs too.

Two states, Kansas and Ohio, actually have wages below the federal standard of $5.15. Georgia and 28 other states go along with the federal standard of $5.15 for minimum wage. Thirteen states have minimum wage rates above the federal standard wage, while seven states have no minimum wage laws. The highest minimum wage is $7.35 in Washington State.

posted by jennifer.emert@walb.com

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