Letter to the Editor: Mistreatment of Prospective Employee Disheartening


If we want our youth to value work then employers must value it as well.

My son’s recent hiring experience at a Chehalis restaurant is an example of how employers are also responsible for the devaluing of work for pay. My son filled out an application and sent in his experience, which is many years in the restaurant business, excellent references, the works. As is customary when an application shows a candidate has the proper experience and skills for a job, they are called in for an interview. This took place on a Saturday, costing my son borrowed money for gas and two hours of time. No problem. In fact he got the job. He just needed to come in and do some cooking and orientation (unpaid) the next day on Sunday. More money, time and gas.

OK. My son is excited to work at a great business. He goes in for an unpaid “working interview” and gets the job, again. More time and gas. He is told to come in on Monday to sign paperwork and start his employment. Great! However, when he arrives, he is told that he won’t be signing paperwork and that he needs to do 16 hours more of a “working interview.” My son is strong willed and left after the owner told him “why would I pay someone if I don’t know they can work and waste my time?” Interesting hiring practice.

Here is the problem: it’s illegal, and when leveraged, can lead to endless “working interviews” giving the business the opportunity to permanently have unpaid staff. My son was hurt by this treatment and is still seeking employment. This type of bullying of people into free work is one reason the youth does not value it. We have to value their efforts as well. I was a huge fan of this establishment and recommended it to friends and family. That will never happen again. When I pay $30 for a dinner, the person cooking it had better be getting paid.


Brian Stewart