A Kansas teen fought for equal pay — and it cost her a summer job.
Jensen Walcott, 17, recently landed a job at Pizza Studio in Legends, Kansas, WDAF reports. Her friend Jake Reed had also been hired at the same location, and the two were excited to work together.
But they discovered a discrepancy in their wages: Walcott was hired at $8 an hour, while Reed was told he’d be making $8.25. Both teens were the same age, had similar experience, and were hired for the exact same position.
Walcott figured the manager made a mistake, so she called the store to inquire about it. The manager fired her immediately, then called Reed and fired him, too, saying it was against company policy to discuss wages.
Walcott’s story quickly national news. Even Hillary Clinton weighed in, congratulating Walcott on her courage in a tweet posted late last week:
On June 25, Pizza Studio responded to Walcott’s termination.
“We were very disappointed to learn about the actions of our manager, who was not acting in accordance with company policies and procedures and we have since parted ways with her,” the company’s CEO said in a statement. “We absolutely do not tolerate any kind of discrimination in our stores including gender discrimination.”
The teens told WDAF that they have since accepted job offers at different companies — and that they’re proud they called attention to the gender wage gap.
“Now more people are understanding that you can discuss wages and if somebody tells you that you can’t, they’re wrong,” Walcott told the station.
“Two teenagers from a small town can make a big difference,” Reed said. “I never thought that was possible.”
Watch more of Walcott’s story here:
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