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Underpaid at camp
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amother




OP
 

Post  Thu, Sep 17 2020, 9:47 am
Hi all
My daughter was working at a camp this year. Since everything was last minute regarding camps opening, none of the staff received a contract. She just received her pay, a month after finishing the work, mind you. She got $135/per week, working 6 days a week. No she was not a mother's helper. Last year her friend got double, in addition to youth corp money. During the summer a few people, including her manager, mentioned how dedicated and responsible she is.
I'm disappointed and very angry at the administrator. My question though, as a mother of an older teenager, what am I supposed to do in this situation? What my message supposed to be to my child? I'm not happy with my initial reaction, honestly. I was enraged. It was a really challenging job that she basically was tipped for. Besides, that was her only chance to make some money for the year. Sad
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amother




Orange
 

Post  Thu, Sep 17 2020, 9:49 am
$135 a week for the summer?? That's a lot for a teen!!!! If an amount wasn't made up before, there's nothing really you can do about it.
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FranticFrummie




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, Sep 17 2020, 9:53 am
It should be a kapparah.

Lesson learned: Even (or especially) if you are working for friends, ALWAYS get money related things down in writing. Even a simple email saying "I just want to be clear. We're talking about X amount of money per week, for Y amount of weeks. Is that correct?"

It's never rude to ask for a clarification, and if anyone tries to imply "you don't trust me!" then that is the exact time to not trust them.

I learned that the hard way. When I was (much) younger, I found a cute little house for rent. I paid first, last, and deposit in cash. I got the key that worked in the door (yes, I checked). I came back the next week, and all the locks had been changed.

It turned out the guy I had talked to was the tenant who was leaving, and the real owners had no clue who I was. They were planning on tearing down the house to put up condos.

I filed a police report, but there was nothing I could do about it.
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Chayalle




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, Sep 17 2020, 9:54 am
What did she think she was going to be getting? Was another amount verbally committed to, or did she take a job with no commitment as to the amount she would be earning?

If the former, she needs to speak up and say it's not okay. If the latter, then she needs to learn not to take a job without an agreement as to the amount being paid, and preferably, with a contract.

I can tell you stories from today to tomorrow about people being skimped on because of no contract. My BIL used to be a cook in a popular camp, and he got a certain salary every year. One year, the director informed him that he was cutting down on his help in the kitchen, and my BIL told him he would need to be paid more, and the director said "yeah, we'll work it out". When it came to it, it turned out he was deliberately vague because "work it out" meant keeping the previous salary for less money to the director.

Never take a job without everything spelled out.
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amother




Slategray
 

Post  Thu, Sep 17 2020, 9:55 am
Did they tell her they’d pay her more. Even if there was a verbal contract I’d hold them to it.
If they never agreed on a price your stuck. Camps are notorious for paying very little.
Is this a day camp or sleepover camp? Some sleepover camps pay nothing (like my sons camp - it’s purely tips)
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amother




OP
 

Post  Thu, Sep 17 2020, 9:56 am
amother [ Orange ] wrote:
$135 a week for the summer?? That's a lot for a teen!!!! If an amount wasn't made up before, there's nothing really you can do about it.

Thank you for your opinion.
Why is a teen's honest work valued less than an adult's? In the city during the year this position is paid a normal human salary. BTW, we're talking about a 19 year old here. In a regular year the kid would leave the camp with 3,000 instead of $950... after 7 weeks
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watergirl




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, Sep 17 2020, 9:58 am
Chayalle wrote:
What did she think she was going to be getting? Was another amount verbally committed to, or did she take a job with no commitment as to the amount she would be earning?

If the former, she needs to speak up and say it's not okay. If the latter, then she needs to learn not to take a job without an agreement as to the amount being paid, and preferably, with a contract.

I can tell you stories from today to tomorrow about people being skimped on because of no contract. My BIL used to be a cook in a popular camp, and he got a certain salary every year. One year, the director informed him that he was cutting down on his help in the kitchen, and my BIL told him he would need to be paid more, and the director said "yeah, we'll work it out". When it came to it, it turned out he was deliberately vague because "work it out" meant keeping the previous salary for less money to the director.

Never take a job without everything spelled out.

Every word of this. If she was told one amount and got paid a different amount, she has to speak up. If she was never told verbally an amount and agreed to work based on an assumption of pay based on what her friend made the year before and never actually had that conversation, then she needs to just learn from this and not do it again.

Fwiw, $135/week is a lot for a summer camp job for a teen.
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amother




Slategray
 

Post  Thu, Sep 17 2020, 10:02 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Thank you for your opinion.
Why is a teen's honest work valued less than an adult's? In the city during the year this position is paid a normal human salary. BTW, we're talking about a 19 year old here. In a regular year the kid would leave the camp with 3,000 instead of $950... after 7 weeks


Is $3000 with youth Corp?
What did they say they would pay her?
Did her friends doing the exact same thing in the same camp make the same this year directly from the camp?
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amother




OP
 

Post  Thu, Sep 17 2020, 10:06 am
[quote="watergirl"]Every word of this. If she was told one amount and got paid a different amount, she has to speak up. If she was never told verbally an amount and agreed to work based on an assumption of pay based on what her friend made the year before and never actually had that conversation, then she needs to just learn from this and not do it again.

Fwiw, $135/week is a lot for a summer camp job for a teen.[/quote]
Why is it a lot for a teen? Are they supposed to pay for the privilege of working? I'm just not understanding the logic? I obviously changed details (not the $ amount she received). This was a physically hard job. She worked during the week and helped out on shabbos, without expecting to get paid, obviously. But she did put in her 120% and was expecting to be compensated fairly. Btw, the camp costed 2 arms and legs this year...
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amother




Crimson
 

Post  Thu, Sep 17 2020, 10:08 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Thank you for your opinion.
Why is a teen's honest work valued less than an adult's? In the city during the year this position is paid a normal human salary. BTW, we're talking about a 19 year old here. In a regular year the kid would leave the camp with 3,000 instead of $950... after 7 weeks

Find out what the minimum wage laws are in your state and if teenagers or seasonal/recreational workers are exempt then take it from there.

This is federal laws, your state may have different laws that would override federal laws (I.e. federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour but NY state law is $15 an hour, etc)

https://www.dol.gov/agencies/w.....%2013(a)(3)%20provides%20an%20exemption%20from%20the,the%20preceding%20calendar%20year%2C%20its
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icedcoffee




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, Sep 17 2020, 10:09 am
I don't think you're wrong at all to be upset. I once worked an entire summer for about $600 because I needed something to "stay busy all summer" and "gain work experience." A 30 year old would never accept that "salary" but for some reason, 19 year olds are expected to be grateful for it. Unfortunately, because there was no contract or agreement, I don't think there's anything that can be done. Hopefully at least she can get some good references and resume building from it.
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bananas4bananas




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, Sep 17 2020, 10:10 am
[quote="amother [ OP ]"]
watergirl wrote:
Every word of this. If she was told one amount and got paid a different amount, she has to speak up. If she was never told verbally an amount and agreed to work based on an assumption of pay based on what her friend made the year before and never actually had that conversation, then she needs to just learn from this and not do it again.

Fwiw, $135/week is a lot for a summer camp job for a teen.[/quote]
Why is it a lot for a teen? Are they supposed to pay for the privilege of working? I'm just not understanding the logic? I obviously changed details (not the $ amount she received). This was a physically hard job. She worked during the week and helped out on shabbos, without expecting to get paid, obviously. But she did put in her 120% and was expecting to be compensated fairly. Btw, the camp costed 2 arms and legs this year...

Unfortunately it's a normal amount. I don't think I ever made more than 160 a week working in day camp as a teen (anywhere between 3 and 8 years ago...)
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amother




Orange
 

Post  Thu, Sep 17 2020, 10:11 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Thank you for your opinion.
Why is a teen's honest work valued less than an adult's? In the city during the year this position is paid a normal human salary. BTW, we're talking about a 19 year old here. In a regular year the kid would leave the camp with 3,000 instead of $950... after 7 weeks


$3,000???? Which camp pays this amount??? $600-$700 a summer for teens is normal pay for camps. Some come home with even less. Age doesn't really matter. Most 19 year old's don't take a camp job. The camps hire 14-17 year old's and pay little. If this is a sleepaway camp, room & food is part of the salary. When I worked in a sleepaway camp when I was 18 & 19, I didn't get paid from the camp, I only got the money from youth Corp.
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amother




Wheat
 

Post  Thu, Sep 17 2020, 10:11 am
Is that even minimum wage? When my daughter did SYEP last year, she got whatever minimum wage was. I would be so upset also if all my daughter got was $135/week.
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watergirl




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, Sep 17 2020, 10:11 am
[quote="amother [ OP ]"]
watergirl wrote:
Every word of this. If she was told one amount and got paid a different amount, she has to speak up. If she was never told verbally an amount and agreed to work based on an assumption of pay based on what her friend made the year before and never actually had that conversation, then she needs to just learn from this and not do it again.

Fwiw, $135/week is a lot for a summer camp job for a teen.[/quote]
Why is it a lot for a teen? Are they supposed to pay for the privilege of working? I'm just not understanding the logic? I obviously changed details (not the $ amount she received). This was a physically hard job. She worked during the week and helped out on shabbos, without expecting to get paid, obviously. But she did put in her 120% and was expecting to be compensated fairly. Btw, the camp costed 2 arms and legs this year...

Because the standard pay, at least where I live, is much less actually. Camp jobs do not pay a lot. Not even for an adult counselor. I know this because I was both. I am not sure why you are jumping from what you think is low pay to all of a sudden paying to work. Hyperbole does not help here.

And you are not answering the question everyone asked - was she told what they pay would be before camp? You said there was no contract. But was there a verbal statement made?
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amother




OP
 

Post  Thu, Sep 17 2020, 10:14 am
amother [ Slategray ] wrote:
Is $3000 with youth Corp?
What did they say they would pay her?
Did her friends doing the exact same thing in the same camp make the same this year directly from the camp?

Yes, $3000 with youth corp. The other 3 friends working same job with her this year weren't paid yet. While others were applying for unemployment, I said " but you're working, you can't do that - we don't do shtick in this family!" I guess I feel duped 2x. Obviously, Noone expected to get paid $3,000 without youth corp this year, but a fair pay? Minimum wage? Why not?
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watergirl




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, Sep 17 2020, 10:15 am
And for what its worth, I would love to see the same arguments made when someone posts asking what a newly out of kollel married man with 4 kids but no experience can expect to be paid; the inevitable argument is one side feels you get paid for your experience and the other side feels by virtue of being a heimish married man, you earn more than the single, older women with more experience.

A teen is young and as such, has less experience than a 30 year old who has been working. If a 30 year old who has the same resume as the teen worked at this camp then YES I would agree they should get the same pay.
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amother




Mistyrose
 

Post  Thu, Sep 17 2020, 10:16 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
My question though, as a mother of an older teenager, what am I supposed to do in this situation? What my message supposed to be to my child?

If she's legally entitled to more under wage laws, you can help her advocate for herself in writing to the camp.

Otherwise, you can validate that she's right to be upset (in my opinion) and help her draw some conclusions for the future.
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amother




Slategray
 

Post  Thu, Sep 17 2020, 10:17 am
amother [ Wheat ] wrote:
Is that even minimum wage? When my daughter did SYEP last year, she got whatever minimum wage was. I would be so upset also if all my daughter got was $135/week.


Room and board come off the minimum wage.
Many sleepover camps pay nothing (like I said my sons camp doesn’t pay sleepover camp staff anything and they have a waiting list).
You work in sleepover camp for the experience and to have fun with friends. Not to make big money. If you want good money you take an office job. (I spent years working in sleepover camps and got paid pennies or nothing ). My mother has also worked in camps with no kids as campers and is paid very little. It’s just how camps work.
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watergirl




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, Sep 17 2020, 10:17 am
amother [ Crimson ] wrote:
Find out what the minimum wage laws are in your state and if teenagers or seasonal/recreational workers are exempt then take it from there.

This is federal laws, your state may have different laws that would override federal laws (I.e. federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour but NY state law is $15 an hour, etc)

https://www.dol.gov/agencies/w.....%2013(a)(3)%20provides%20an%20exemption%20from%20the,the%20preceding%20calendar%20year%2C%20its

I am making an assumption here and I could be wrong. BUT if the camp was not legal and taxes were not paid, they can pay her whatever they want. Minimum wage only applies legally when the job is on the books and/or at a legal workplace.
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