Missouri teens say they were terminated for discussing pay hours

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A Missouri teenager says she was fired from her job, after questioning why she didn’t make as much as her male coworker. The teen was hired at Pizza Studio in the Legends but was fired an hour later after asking her boss about her wage, WDAF reports.

Friday night, metro lawyers say she could have a pretty big lawsuit on her hands.

Seventeen-year-old Jensen Walcott was excited for her interview, especially after hearing one of her good friends, 17-year-old Jake Reed had just been hired the same day.

“She sent me a message like omg I have an interview at 3,” Reed said.

Jensen was interviewed and hired on the spot.

“She said good news, you got the job,” Jensen said.

Jensen left immediately and called Jake to share the news, they’d be working together.

“We were excited. We were super excited.”

But soon, that excitement turned to confusion after Jake told her, he was making $8.25 an hour, while she was hired for $8 an hour. The two are the same age, have the same amount of experience and were hired for the same position. Jensen thought for sure it was just a mix-up and called her new boss, asking why her wage differed from Jake’s. The manager put her on hold.

The two are the same age, have the same amount of experience and were hired for the same position. Jensen thought for sure it was just a mix-up and called her new boss, asking why her wage differed from Jake’s. The manager put her on hold.

“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,” Jensen said.

The manager got back on the phone and told Jensen she was fired because discussing wages is against its policy.

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

Both teens were terminated hours after being hired, for discussing their wages.

“At face value it appears, that the young lady was terminated because she complained about unequal wages. That’s illegal,” said Attorney David White.

White says the National Labor Relations Board has given guidance saying you can discuss wages. White believes Jensen may have a claim for retaliation.

“Probably what happened- they’re teenagers. They didn’t think they’d complain,” White said.

But Jensen said she just wants to know why she wasn’t given the same pay as her friend.

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