Working as a teenager can be liberating. Earning your own money, building skills that many don’t obtain until their mid-20s, and gaining a measure of autonomy. The one potential downside, though, is that teens usually don’t earn as much compared with their older coworkers.
The short TikTok shows Laya ladling sauce onto a pizza crust before putting cheese on top. “Getting paid $10/hr just to play papa’s pizzeria all day,” she wrote via text overlay.
@zombiebryde ive been wanting to make this for a while and yes i put too much sauce but wtv #pizzahut ♬ Papas Freezeria Theme – user45517245792
After the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a sharp increase in hourly pay across multiple businesses, but wages largely depend on location. Even though the federal minimum wage is stuck at $7.25 per hour, some states have increased their hourly wages.
In the comments section of Laya’s video, many users questioned whether Pizza Hut was underpaying her. This sparked a discussion on whether $10 per hour is decent starting pay for a teenager.
“10 dollars an hour is crazy,” one user stated. To this comment, Laya responded: “I’m 14 just starting out. [I]t’s good for where I live.”
Other teenage service workers, meanwhile, said that they earn less at their jobs.
“Dude, there’s no way. I’m 15 and do the same thing for Little Caesars but only make 8,” another viewer said.
“Depends on the state tbh. Made 8 at Pizza Hut with the state minimum being 7,” a third user noted.
And some people said that Laya’s pay was largely on par with what other, older service workers earn.
“Bro, most places start at 8 or 8.50. 10$ is good around here,” one TikTok user said.
“Y’all think $10 is bad at a pizza place. I was making $9 at an Abercrombie and Fitch,” another responded.
The Daily Dot has reached out to Laya via TikTok comment and Pizza Hut by email.