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Boss Refuses To Pay His Employee Of 5 Years More Than Minimum Wage Despite Her Being A ‘Valued’ Worker

Photo: Ground Picture / Shutterstock
boss and employee in a meeting

Discussing money and asking for a raise is always an anxiety-inducing and uncomfortable situation. One woman from the U.K. experienced the humiliation of asking for a pay increase and not receiving it all because her employer thought minimum wage was sufficient.

The employee asked her boss for her pay to increase, only to be told that minimum wage was enough.

One employee called into The Ben Askins Show podcast to share her story. Askins is an entrepreneur who exposes bad bosses on social media and fights for workers’ rights.

“I thought, great, I now know my worth. I’m going to ask my boss for a pay review,” the employee told Askins. “And I was really anxious. My heart rate was going up. And I went into his office in between a patient and just said, ‘Hey, can I be considered for a pay review?’”

   

   

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The woman was terrified of finally standing up for herself and asking her boss for what she knew she deserved, but it seemed to pay off. “He kind of hesitated for about a second or two and went, ‘Yep, yep, sure.’ And that was a big relief for me,” she said. 

When the employee finally had her meeting with her boss — which he rescheduled three times and ultimately scheduled on her day off via Zoom — she felt prepared.

“I was going to go in there asking for the $32 an hour simply because that’s what I thought I was at least worth minimally,” she said. “And I copped out when he said, ‘How much do you want?' and I said $27 ... wanting not to sound too greedy.”

Her boss’s response shocked her. He said, “‘I’m already paying you what the awards suggest. I think we’ll stick with that.’”

“I got that translated,” the employee continued. “Basically, that means, ‘I’m already paying you minimum wage, why would we pay you any more?’”

Boss Refuses To Pay His Employee Of 5 Years More Than Minimum WagePhoto: Mizuno K / Pexels

Askins interjected, equally shocked, “Wow. That’s such poor form.” Adding, “And how did that make you feel? Because already you sort of felt, like, a bit of a slap in the face finding out you were being underpaid already.” 

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“He kept saying that I was a valued employee and that he received positive feedback about me from patients and other clients and doctors,” she explained. “So, to hear that kind of made me feel like all that was worthless. Like I didn’t mean anything to him.”

“Words are cheap. That’s the problem," Askins replied. "It’s very easy to say things because it doesn’t cost them anything. But when it comes to kind of actually walking the walk, it’s amazing how many people fall down on it.”

If this employee is being paid the U.K.’s minimum wage, she is making considerably less than she requested.

According to the BBC, the National Minimum Wage in the U.K. is only paid to those who are aged 16 to 20. Those over 21 are paid the National Living Wage, which is 11.44 pounds, or, according to Travelex, $14.24. 

   

   

Meanwhile, there is also the Real Living Wage to consider. The BBC said, “The Real Living Wage is an unofficial hourly rate which is overseen by the Living Wage Foundation charity. It is based on what the charity believes people need to earn.” 

The BBC emphasized that the Real Living Wage, which is 13.15 pounds in London, or $16.37, “is not a legal requirement.”

Whether this woman was making the National Living Wage or Real Living Wage is unclear. What is clear is that after five years with her employer, her work was undervalued and underappreciated. She, like so many others, deserves better.

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Mary-Faith Martinez is a writer for YourTango who covers entertainment, news and human interest topics.