Business Owner Sparks Minimum Wage Debate Over Paying Herself Same As Workers

The labor debate is a hot one in America right now, and one that's spreading across the globe. In the wake of a labor shortage, discussions are popping up everywhere regarding wages, work ethic, exploitation, and workers' rights for minimum wage and service employees.

A business owner made a video explaining just one measure she takes to not exploit her employees.

Madeline Pendleton has a pretty sizable TikTok following, currently sitting at just over 782k followers.

She uses this platform to talk about many different things, but lately, it has been about her business practices.

This video in particular was about how she, the business owner, makes the same amount of money as her employees. The video has now earned over 1 million views and has caused quite the stir.

She begins by saying, "This is going to be a great lesson in labor exploitation."

She then dives right into the math. She and all her employees earn the same daily take-home pay rate at $250. Her full-time employees work four days a week, her part-time workers work two days a week.

For her full-time workers, including herself, this rate earns them an annual salary of $70,200 before taxes, which she specifies is still lower-middle-class where she lives.

She calculates the total cost of her payroll per year.

And shows that it amounts to almost $600k. This is just payroll expenses, with everyone's equal full-time salary and the lower part-time salary.

She then imagines a situation where she pays her workers minimum wage while keeping the rest.

She determines her minimum wage pay would be $14.25 due to her company's size.

This rate of pay would mean her full-time employees would only earn $23,712 per year, and her part-time employees would earn $11,856.

Subtract all of those salaries, $177,840 from her total yearly payroll cost, $596,700, and she'd get to pocket the excess $418,860.

She ends the video by saying, "This is what most bosses are doing."

Those numbers really got people talking.

She made numerous follow-up videos answering questions and debunking accusations, but many viewers were thankful for her approach.

"[This] is the change we need to see," wrote one comment. "[Thank] you for keeping your humanity."

"THIS!" exclaimed another. "This is why I hate when people say 'if we raise the minimum wage, prices go up'. No dude, not if employers behaved ethically."

In one specific video in which she replies to someone claiming she secretly pockets the excess profit, she explains further.

She goes into detail about her business's profit-sharing ventures. When they do have an excess in profit, they put that money right back into bettering their employee's lives. Helping to pay off car loans is the example she uses in this video.

She says the company tries to spend most of their excess profits on their employees, saying it's a form of reinvesting in the company.

This video also sparked realizations in quite a few viewers.

"It's a little upsetting how much my mind is blown by people making a decently comfortable salary working 4 days a week," explained one user.

A different small business owner also piped up and gave their perspective: "I'm still small and [cannot] afford to pay anyone a liveable wage right now so I do all the work myself because exploiting people's labor is wrong."

Of course, not everyone agreed.

There were a few people who believed the owner still had a right to make more than their workers, though they agreed that the current difference we see today is far too steep.

Regardless of independent views, it got a lot of people talking and changed some peoples' minds as well, all for the betterment of workers' futures.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments!