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Why Do Employers Expect More Work For Less Pay?

Updated on March 24, 2013

Minimum Pay For Overworked Duties

So I have a friend that recently got a job in the medical field, attending to patients with disabilities. In a rant she asked me; "Why do employers expect more work for less pay?" I then asked her what were her duties. Among some of her duties, she must monitor patients throughout the night, change their linens-and them if there was a 'bed accident', prepare their meals, administer their meds and do data entry every night on the events that transpired during the course of her shift.

Wow! When I heard of such tasks and discovered that minimum pay was her compensation for such overworked duties, I said this can't be true. But it is however! It is a known fact that higher education means higher pay, but does this also mean that minimum education 'deserves minimum pay', particularly when it comes to positions that affect the livelihood of another? What about something called experience? Does experience hold any merit and/or precedence over a piece of paper with an accolade attached?

I've grilled her on many of her duties, making comparisons to her responsibilities and the compensation that in no way compliments it. Apparently, she does not have to be certified in any particular trade in order to administer medications for instance. Yet, such a task is vital in the welfare of anyone consuming these meds, as it can prove to be detrimental to the recipient if not given correctly, or on time, or not at all, etc, etc.

More so than receiving minimum pay for seemingly over worked duties, due to lack of higher education, she expressed that her position pays such low wages across the board of any form of prior education just for the simple fact of being a new employee. There was much concern for her from me, as it seemed that this facility was engaged in not only lousy pay for such critical work, but that there may also be a hint of corruption involved as well. Whom might be to blame for such an insulting rate of pay? And no! The answer is surely not typical scape-goat phrase "it's Obama's fault". This issue of more work and less pay is much bigger than our current President and has been such an issue for many decades and many presidents, for some time now.

Do You Feel That You Are Being Payed Less For More Work?

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Stop Blaming The President! The Right Hand Washes The Left

It's the president's fault! It's the president's fault! The president is ruining everything! Psssst! Stop blaming Obama for everything and using our President as a scape-goat to the things in which states, as well as us individually have the means to change for ourselves. The President has elected to raise the bar on minimum wages to a substantial number of at least $9/hr, and a little over $10/hr in the nearer future via amending the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. This act and its amendments surely didn't seem to upset anyone during the time of Roosevelt. In fact, Roosevelt himself was regarded as saying that such an act was one of the most important parts of the New Deal he has seen. Presidents to follow have all piggy-backed on this act, only in attempts to keep up with the times of wages over work. As cost go up for businesses, so must it be complimented for employees in order for society to thrive. basic mathematics can illustrate this.

The melting pot of wages over work is very confrontational. However, in any event, one may agree to disagree that 'the right hand washes the left'. With that I mean that if work performance overshadows appropriate pay, then employees will tend to look elsewhere, or perhaps even go on strike. Many companies argue about the government's involvement and that increased payouts will destroy the company, but basic mathematics will clearly show that these disgruntled cries are mere rhetoric. Sure there were many cries from companies and businesses during the Fair Labor Act, but since the New Deal, did our nation not continue to thrive?

Basic math is going to show us that as 1+1=2, more work + more pay : less work + less pay. Furthermore, more work + more pay = more spending.

It is when we began to cross multiply among this ratio that things become a little 'off'. If a business decides to decrease pay, lay-off top wage earners then bring in a new batch of eager to work employees while paying them significantly less to perform the same duties as those top earners, we then have an increase in company revenue. But wait a minute! Where does that extra revenue go?

It seems that businesses are all about the dollar an increasing their profit margin, and they should be to an extent. However, these same businesses must keep in mind that they would not at all thrive if demand doesn't meet the market. If one cannot afford to purchase from them due to flimsy pay, then they are out of luck. Furthermore, if employees are not able to to survive off of set wages with said business, then the effects of turn-over rates, among other things will prove detrimental.

To keep things a little simpler in understanding, just imagine if a business pays it's employees a terrible wage like minimum pay, and everybody decided to quit, while no one else chose to work for that company thereafter. What do you think will be the inevitable outcome of that business's success? The bottom line here is that again, 'the right hand washes the left'.

Do You Feel That President Obama Is To Blame For The Wage Issue In Our Society?

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Why Are Companies So Greedy?

Businesses have been crying about this whole wage issue and complaining that increasing wages will cost them ultimately. So what! What if these businesses weren't affected by any type of wage increase, would they still then engage? There was a time when wages increased with the times across the board. Employees could look forward to a cost of living increase due to increased rates on other things in their environment. However, this has slowly dissipated. It seems that employers are riding the thin line of being fair and making an honest living vs being greedy when it comes to wages. This has been proven with things like corruption, business scandals, ponzi schemes, and outsourcing work to other countries.

It shows that while businesses may initiate good practice and valued code of ethics in the beginning of their success, the greed of wealth and money overtakes them and in turn leave employees to suffer, with such things as more work for less pay.


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    • Breatheeasy3 profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from USA

      Thank you for reading careermommy. This hub was purposed for shedding light to the fact of your point....that in most fields of work, people are working harder. The Obama segment came into play during my research, as I noticed many people going off tangent of the main discussion and placing un-reasoned blame on our current president.

      Didn't want to drain the reader with a long hub so look out for part 2 to this topic.

    • Careermommy profile image

      Tirralan Watkins 

      5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Breatheeasy3, this is a very interesting hub. I think that in most fields of work people are working harder, with less, or the same pay. I don't even think education has anything to do with it at this point. I have a Masters degree but because of the economy and how poorly companies are doing we're tasked to fill in the gaps and do work that would not normally fit in our job descriptions. And, I've probably made the same amount for the last 3-4 years because cost of livings raises have been put on hold. I guess that is the reality of where we are today, but I am thankful to have a job. There are thousands of out of work people who would love to be in my shoes. Thanks for the read.

    • Breatheeasy3 profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from USA

      ib rad.....

      You have so many false and un-researched statements here. Are your arguments then, emotionally based?

      Perhaps the one sensible thing stated is that Obama is Not responsible for the wage issue. I'm pretty sure any sensible person can see this.

      Is Obama helping to solve the issue....Yes! Uhhhh! Did you not hear about the push for increasing the federal minimum wage to $9/hr, with a continued increase as a result of inflation and cost of living?

      Currently, the set minimum wage is at $7.25. If people cannot survive off of this, then what do you supposed to do?..uhhhh! why not raise the bar at the very least. Everything else is going up, it only makes sense that pay accompanies this.

      Government employees have it better?????? Really???? There are so many teachers out there that are getting so underpaid that they have to take on second jobs. What about officers, that put their lives on the line. What are their lives worth? Certainly it would be worth much more than their current salary.

      Lawyers do not get paid hundreds to thousands of dollars in every instance, especially those servicing as public defenders. The ones that may however, do this to compensate for the low amount of cases they take on, so pay actually becomes relative when you do the math. you know what a rocket scientist is....A rocket scientist is an engineer, be it mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, so forth and so on. The salary level varies as well, particularly starting around $60,000/yr. How do I know this...personal experience. The salary goes up well into the six figure mark, and this doesn't include things like overtime and/or bonuses. Rocket scientists make a great deal of money and are very well in competition of these so called lawyers you speak of.

      I also personally know quite a few waiters and waitresses and have even managed some in the restaurant business, where their tips have surpassed my salary for a week's earnings. Wanna know how???? Excellent customer service! In fact, many of these 'workers for tips' choose this form of salary because of the flexibility and infinite earning potential.

      Furthermore, my very first job consisted of me earning tips. I was a mere high-schooler, yet my wages surpassed $70 per day in tips because of the great tools I've learned with interacting with people, servicing them and many other tricks of the trade.

      Perhaps you should research a bit more on the 'real' issues and understand the bigger picture.

    • ib radmasters profile image

      ib radmasters 

      5 years ago from Southern California


      Is president Obama responsible for the wage issue, NO

      Is he helping to solve the issue, NO

      The flip side of this issue is why do government employees have it way better than the average private sector employee?

      Why do we pay Lawyers, hundreds to thousands of dollars per hour, while a rocket scientist makes under fifty dollars an hour?

      Why do some people have to work for tips as their biggest component of their wages?


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