Who should businesses hire? Underclassmen or 18 year olds?

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Minimum wage means a minimum hiring age

By Abby Fleming ’20

As summer approaches, many Staples students have found themselves in search of a summer job and have been greatly disappointed by the lack of options. Due to their young age, many businesses aren’t excited to hire them. I believe due to Connecticut’s high minimum wage, these businesses are justified in their lack of interest in hiring teens.

In Connecticut the minimum wage is $10.10 hourly, and $404 a week. This may not seem like a lot, but in contrast to other states like Kentucky, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, which, as of February 2016, all have a minimum wage of $7.25, it is comparatively substantial.

For the money they spend on their employees, companies have a responsibility to hire the people that will do the best job. In most cases, that means hiring people over 18.

The benefits of hiring a legal adult outweighs those of hiring a high schooler. The former is likely able to drive themselves to work, hence a prompt arrival.

Contrarily, most teenagers don’t have a car. I know from experience I’ve had to cancel plans just because neither of my parents could drive me and I don’t have a license. For an employer, it would be frustrating to spend around $10 an hour paying someone who isn’t dependable. This isn’t their fault by any means, but it is the responsibility of the employer to do what’s best for their company, and hiring an unreliable teen simply isn’t advantageous.

It is in the best interest of the company to hire someone over 18. It’s common sense to hire the more qualified and reliable candidate.

We need more leniency when hiring teens

By Mia Daignault ’20

I’ve spent 15 years of watching my parents make a living. My parents make money to bring me out to breakfast, lunch and dinner, pay the bills and provide a roof over my head. It’s been 15 years of tranquility for me. But now that I am going to be a junior in high school, I shouldn’t have to be entirely dependent upon my parents anymore.

This summer should be my chance to be independent and show some responsibility, but it is nearly impossible when almost all of the businesses in Westport prohibit kids my age from working. Entering junior year, I still have to be babied by my parents in the sense that I have no income and no understanding of what it’s like to maintain a living. This has to end.  In fact, according to Stacey Schifferdecker, having a job heightens teens’ life skills, independence, responsibility and career experience.

The simple solution to this is to call up employers for a job, but that simple solution is rendered ineffective when I’ve tried it all. Businesses don’t care about what I have to say.  All they care about is my age. If you’re 18, you’re hired. If not, you’re out of luck.

Stores are discriminatory towards students not yet 18, which has limited the opportunities I am able to receive.

How can teens gain responsibility and set themselves up for the future? Whether I am 15 years old or 40 years old, I should not have to wait to introduce myself to the workplace and the real world.