I make below minimum wage. Why?

First of all, let me just say this may be a dumb question. I'm new to the job world. 

I'm 16. I work as a teacher-like counselor at an Education Center in New York. I make $9.25 an hour even though minimum wage here is $11.10. Honestly, I don't want to ask my boss about it, for this is my first job and I don't know how to not sound like an asshole while doing it.

I was hoping the wisdom of some of you guys will be able to educate me. Is it because I'm still a student or something?

13 Answers

  • 9 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    It is not simply because you are a student. Students that work in most jobs, especially those employed by for-profit businesses, must get minimum wage or more, except for vocational training and work that is required for the school curriculum..

    It is because you are working as a counselor at an education center. Non-profitmaking institutions, especially educational institutions, are sometimes allowed to pay students less than minimum wage. Also, there is no minimum wage for staff counselors in children’s camps.

    Go to https://www.labor.ny.gov/workerprotection/laborsta...

    and read the answers to the questions "Are there any employee exemptions from Minimum Wage requirements for non-profit making institutions?", " How is a student defined under Minimum Wage regulations?", and "Can a student at a for-profit business be exempt from coverage under Minimum Wage regulations?"

    Pay particular attention to these portions:

    "Non-profit making institutions often have ... students ... that maybe exempted from minimum wage requirements. Others not covered under the Minimum Wage Act include ... staff counselors in children’s camps.... Students working in a non-profit making institution are exempt from Minimum Wage regulations if that institution is set up and operates strictly for charitable, educational or religious purposes..."

  • Anonymous
    9 months ago

    It’s because you’re so young. Employers know they can get high school age employees for a song.

    You’re paid what you’re worth and what your worth largely depends on

    how easily you can be replaced.

    So you needn’t ask your boss.

    You won’t sound like an asshole, but you will sound naive. You might also sound like a pain in the ***. 

    Your merit is what get you raises. Be good at what you do, notably good, and then approach your boss with proof that you’re worth more. If you are at that time, you’ll get your raise.

    If you don’t, consider working somewhere else. Be prepared to leave if necessary. (And give two weeks notice if you do.)

  • 9 months ago

    Who cares? As long as you can pay your bills, then why care what you make? People today are so hungry about getting a fancy car and a fancy mansion that they strive for this high paying job.

  • Eva
    Lv 7
    9 months ago

    There is not a student wage in NY. The company may be based in another state and using that minimum wage, but if you are working at a site located in NY, they must pay you the NY minimum wage.

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  • Pearl
    Lv 7
    9 months ago

    i would mention it, they mightve done that by mistake

  • A.J.
    Lv 7
    9 months ago

    NY minimum wage info here:


    General Minimum Wage Rate Schedule is $11.10 now.

    Tipped Wage is still $7.50

    Fast Food now $12.75


    Government employees other than certain non-teaching jobs are not covered by the minimum wage. Also, Part-time babysitters, Ministers and members of religious orders. Volunteers, learners, apprentices and students working in non-profit institutions, Students obtaining vocational experience,  all not covered.

    The Labor Law does not consider independent contractors either.

    The minimum wage does not apply if you work for the government (with exceptions), a student working in a non-profit institution, or as a student in vocational training.

    You can ask your supervisor which category they apply if you don't know already by this list.

  • Anonymous
    9 months ago

    As mentioned below...an exception for your age.

  • 9 months ago

    are you an actual employee or an intern? honestly i would settle if i was you, i get 7.25 an hour and got beat up on the job, am also 16 so cant quit and look for better job cause no one wants to hire teenagers, especially ones with black eyes

  • Anonymous
    9 months ago

    You have a dead low paying job that any trained monkey can do, that is why.

    PS Entry level students are exempt from min wage laws in many, if not all, states.

  • Anonymous
    9 months ago

    Well obviously that’s not legal

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